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Regional Trading Blocs: Will East Asia Be Next?

Paul Bowles and Brian MacLean

Cambridge Journal of Economics, 1996, vol. 20, issue 4, 393-412

Abstract: Interest in the possible emergence of an East Asian trading bloc is certainly warranted. However, in the absence of any well-developed theory of regional bloc formation, most economists have studied the question by examining aggregate trade statistics. We argue that these studies provide only a partial picture of the degree to which economic integration is taking place in East Asia. An analysis of capital flows (especially Foreign Direct Investment flows) is also required and the political economy of state action must be explicitly considered. We conclude that an East Asian trading bloc may be an attractive proposition to many countries in the region. We also point to potential obstacles in this process. (c) 1996 Academic Press Limited Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:20:y:1996:i:4:p:393-412