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Political Economy of East Asian Regional Integration and Cooperation

dc.contributor.authorSaori N. Katada
dc.description.abstractIn the last decade, East Asia has engaged in constructing numerous mechanisms to enhance regional cooperation in the areas of trade and finance. However, the region’s economic architecture exhibits certain idiosyncrasies such as an eclectic institutional structure and a limited level of commitment shown by its members. These idiosyncrasies seem to prevent regional cooperation from becoming deeper and more coherent. This paper focuses on the political factors that have thus far shaped the institutional form of East Asian regional trade and financial cooperation, particularly in the three essential aspects of regionalism derived from the theories of regional institution building. The first aspect is the level at which governments are willing to compromise sovereignty and political autonomy for the sake of regional cooperation. The second is the progress in creating mechanisms through which the “losers” and the “weak” within a country or region can be compensated. The third is the clear definition of which members can benefit from such mechanisms. These three elements are useful in furthering regional cooperation and institution building by removing resistance and obstacles that work against functional spillovers. The paper argues that East Asia’s economic institutions established through the cooperation efforts of the last ten years exhibit different qualities from those that have emerged in Europe, and thus fall far short of overcoming unexpected political tensions in the region. These deficiencies, however, contrast in two important fields of regional integration. In finance, the clearly defined member governments have difficulty compromising their respective national macroeconomic policy autonomy, while in the field of regional trade cooperation, the challenge is in redistributing the economic gains to those who stand to lose during the process of integration, or to the countries that have a long distance to catch up within a relatively well-defined group.
dc.publisherAsian Development Bank
dc.rightsCC BY 3.0 IGO
dc.titlePolitical Economy of East Asian Regional Integration and Cooperation
dc.typeWorking Papers
dc.subject.expertRegional Economy
dc.subject.expertRegional Trading Arrangements
dc.subject.expertRegional Trade Integration
dc.subject.expertRegional Economic Integration
dc.subject.expertRegional Cooperation
dc.subject.expertInterregional Cooperation
dc.subject.expertTrade Disputes
dc.subject.expertTrade Barriers
dc.subject.adbEconomic integration
dc.subject.adbRegional Development Bank
dc.subject.adbPreferential tariffs
dc.subject.adbInternational negotiation
dc.subject.adbProtectionist measures
dc.subject.adbAccess to markets
dc.subject.adbEconomic agreements
dc.subject.adbInternational trade law
dc.subject.adbRegional integration
dc.subject.adbTrade relations
dc.subject.naturalRegional disparities
dc.subject.naturalRegional economic disparities
dc.subject.naturalRegional economic blocs
dc.subject.naturalIndustrial arbitration
dc.title.seriesADBI Working Paper Series
dc.contributor.imprintAsian Development Bank
oar.themeLabor Migration
oar.adminregionEast Asia Region
oar.countryPeople's Republic of China
oar.countryHong Kong
oar.countryRepublic of Korea
oar.authorKatada, Saori N.

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    The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) Working Paper series is a continuation of the formerly named Discussion Paper series which began in January 2003. The numbering of the papers continued without interruption or change. ADBI was established in 1997 in Tokyo, Japan, to help build capacity, skills, and knowledge related to poverty reduction and other areas that support long-term growth and competitiveness in developing economies in Asia and the Pacific.

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