Regionalism and Conflict: Peace Creation and Peace Diversion

Regionalism and Conflict: Peace Creation and Peace Diversion
Tabakis, Chrysostomos
Preferential trade agreements; regionalism; military conflict; war
Issue Date
Series/Report no.
KDI Working Paper Series;WP14-04
We investigate the implications of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) for interstate con ict. We set up a two-stage game with three competing importers, where rst, two of the countries decide on whether to initiate war against each other, and subsequently, all three countries select their import tari¤s. We show that PTAs produce both a peace-creation and a peace-diversion e¤ect, whereby they reduce the likelihood of con ict between member countries (peace creation), but could render the eruption of war between member and non-member countries more likely (peace diversion). This paper is the rst to identify and explicitly model the peace-diversion e¤ect of PTAs, and is also the only one in this literature to endogenize countries terms of trade. We use data from the Correlates of War project to empirically test these predictions, and after controlling for endogeneity, we nd robust evidence of both peace creation and peace diversion in relation to free-trade-area as well as customs-union establishment.
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