Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In recent decades there has been an explosion in the number and importance of preferential trade agreements (PTAs), which vary dramatically in their design. Design elements include the treaty’s depth, scope, membership, rigidity, and institutionalization. This chapter examines (1) how the design of a PTA affects the behavior of its members and (2) what designs are optimal for a given political-economic context. While members benefit from international trade cooperation, they sometimes experience domestic political pressure to violate treaty obligations. The chapter shows how institutional design elements affect the likelihood that members will comply with treaty obligations and the long-term stability of the PTA. We show that countries’ equilibrium behavior changes with the rigidity of the PTA. As the number of PTAs has increased, an overlapping and complex network has emerged. Turning to the system level, the chapter examines how the PTA network can inhibit trade cooperation and identifies design elements that can mitigate this effect.

Keywords: preferential trade agreements, international trade cooperation, institutional design, stability, domestic political pressure

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.