Journal Article

Tracking <span class="smallCaps">nafta</span>’s Shadow 10 Years on: Introduction to the Symposium

Daniel Lederman and Luis Servén

in The World Bank Economic Review

Volume 19, issue 3, pages 335-344
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 0258-6770
Published online December 2005 | e-ISSN: 1564-698X | DOI:
Tracking nafta’s Shadow 10 Years on: Introduction to the Symposium

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The North American Free Trade Agreement (nafta) is arguably the first “case study” of what might be expected from the increasing number of preferential trade agreements involving both developed and developing economies. Ten years after the treaty’s inception, it is time to assess how its outcomes compare with initial expectations. The articles in this symposium issue provide insights into the effects of nafta on economic geography, trade, wages and migration, and foreign investment from Mexico’s perspective. The contributions paint a complex post-nafta reality characterized by persistent intrabloc trade barriers, interregional inequality within Mexico, labor market outcomes that seem closely tied to migration patterns and international trade and investment, and foreign investment flows that appear weakly related to trade agreements. nafta seems to be the first trade agreement in history for which the traditional static trade creation or diversion effects are likely negligible—and hard to identify in any case.

Journal Article.  4374 words. 

Subjects: Development Planning and Policy

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