North American Economic Integration

North American Economic Integration

Theory and Practice

Norris C. Clement, Gustavo del Castillo Vera, James Gerber, William A. Kerr, Alan J. MacFayden, Stanford Shedd, Eduardo Zepeda and Diana Alarcón

This highly accessible book explains the theoretical, historical and political background of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), its impact and the debates surrounding its existence. In addition the authors provide a brief introduction to the theory of economic integration as well as a succinct overview of the evolution of the global economy, and the institutions that manage it, in the post World War II period.

Chapter 3: The Global Economy after World War II

Norris C. Clement, Gustavo del Castillo Vera, James Gerber, William A. Kerr, Alan J. MacFayden, Stanford Shedd, Eduardo Zepeda and Diana Alarcón

Subjects: business and management, international business, economics and finance, international economics


Page 67  3. The Global Economy after World War II  In the last chapter we briefly examined theories of international trade and economic integration, as well as the various multilateral institutions that have managed the  global economy throughout the post­World War II period. In this chapter we explore the evolution of the main features of the global economy over that period,  especially as it relates to North American integration. The main objective is to show the relationship between important international events and the development of  international multilateral institutions and economic theory in the entire post­World War II period, on the one hand, and the emergence of NAFTA in the 1990s, on the  other. We believe that an understanding of this link is necessary in order to understand: (1) the forces that have shaped current economic integration efforts in North  America, and (2) the nature of the current controversies that divide proponents and opponents of the integration process. We also give special attention to events and  trends in Latin America, the most likely region to become associated with NAFTA in the near future. History is important because it has conditioned current economic  policies and institutions as well as our thinking regarding what can or should be done now and in the future.  Some of the ideas discussed in this chapter have been touched on already in the preceding chapters. However, they reappear here in a different context, as part of the  evolution of the global economy and the intellectual...

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