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Journal of Economic Integration 2016 June;31(2) :234-274.
Development of Regionalism
: New Criteria and Typology

Yoo-Duk Kang 

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, Sejong-si, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author: Yoo-Duk Kang ,Tel: +82 444141123, Fax: +82 444141044, Email:
Copyright ©2016 Journal of Economic Integration
This study examines the development of regionalism and the different typologies of Regional Trade Agreements. Beginning with Balassa’s typology, it conducts an overview of commonly used typologies of regionalism and emphasizes that the previous typologies do not reflect the different features of Regional Trade Agreements, for example, the external factors that make it possible to differentiate between seemingly similar types of Regional Trade Agreements. After noticing these limitations, we propose a new typology of Regional Trade Agreements and its criteria by combining the existing methods and the new one. Recent Regional Trade Agreements can be regarded as responses to a new trade environment: Multilateral negotiations agenda and globalization. This is probably why recent Regional Trade Agreements are often termed as World Trade Organization-plus. In the context of emerging mega-Regional Trade Agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, this study calls for more efforts toward harmonizing the different Regional Trade Agreements or creating a template of standard Regional Trade Agreements in order to prevent a spaghetti bowl effect. Meanwhile, Mega-Regional Trade Agreements also seem to be influenced by the consequences of the 2008~2009 global financial crisis.

JEL Classification
F13: Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
F15: Economic Integration
F59: Other
Keywords: Balassa’s Typology | Regionalism | Regionalization | Free Trade Agreement | Economic Integration
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