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The Theory of Preferential Trade Agreements: Historical Evolution and Current Trends

Bhagwati, Jagdish N.

The theory of preferential trade agreements (PTA's), or what might be described in policy terms as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Article XXIV sanctioned free-trade areas (FTA's) and Customs Unions (CU's), has undergone two phases of evolution, in two very different modes, largely reflecting the contrasting policy concerns of the time. In this paper, we trace this evolution, offering both a historical context and an intellectual coherence to diverse analytical approaches.

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American Economic Review

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Economics
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January 28, 2013