Staff Papers
Published Date: 01 December 2005

The Welfare Analysis of a Free Trade Zone: Intermediate Goods and the Asian Tigers.

MAS Staff Paper No. 41, December 2005 - By Andrew Feltenstein and Florenz Plassmann


We analyse trade reform among the ASEAN countries, which recently began removing all mutual trade barriers.  The standard method to avoid complete specialization in traded goods is to distinguish goods both by physical type and place of origin (the so called Armington assumption).  This methodology is not suitable for the sort of intermediate goods produced by the ASEAN countries.  We develop a computational approach in the context of a non-Armington dynamic general equilibrium model. Analyzing the results of a calibrated version of the model, we find that trade liberalization is generally welfare improving for the ASEAN countries.