The Institutions of NAFTA

Greg Anderson

Abstract


Since NAFTA was concluded in 1994, talk of next steps in North American integration has been a frequent topic of scholarly and public debate. At the heart of that debate reside questions of whether to deepen or expand, reinvigorate or consolidate the agreement. As NAFTA matured, part of this debate focused on the agreement's relative degree of institutionalization. These issues received renewed attention in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Drawing upon the insights of the so-called new institutional economics, this paper argues that NAFTA is, in its entirety, a set of institutions governing NorthAmerican economic relations. As the post-9/11 debate over the next steps in North America moves forward, policy makers would be wise to consider how modifications to these institutional structures are shaping incentives, including the way we think about economic relations in North America.

Keywords


economic institutions; NAFTA; integration; reasoning



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22201/cisan.24487228e.2008.02.43

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