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Call for Papers and Research Projects
V Workshop of the Regional Integration Network (RIN)
San José, Costa Rica, January 26-27, 2006

The fifth Workshop of the Regional Integration Network (RIN) will be held in San José, Costa Rica, January 26-27, 2006. This Workshop is sponsored by LACEA and is organized by Universidad de Costa Rica.

The Workshop is a unique event that brings together top researchers and policymakers from around the world to discuss recent theoretical and empirical advances in the economics and politics of Regional Integration Agreements (RIAs). The goal of these meetings is to use the findings of research in order to gain a better understanding of the problems, opportunities and policy challenges faced by Latin American countries in the process of integration and also to encourage further research on the subject. While authors should feel free to submit papers on all areas linked to economic integration, this Fifth Workshop will focus in particular on the problems of Integration in Central America and the Caribbean. Submissions on issues such as the recently signed DR-CAFTA and CARICOM-Costa Rica Trade Agreement, on ALCA, and the Plan Puebla-Panamá and on other topics relevant for Central America and Caribbean countries are especially encouraged.

The program will consist of eight brainstorming sessions that will be divided into invited sessions and regular sessions. The papers for the regular sessions will be selected among the submitted papers. Each paper of both invited and regular sessions will be briefly commented by a discussant leaving ample time for general discussion.

A Program Committee formed by Felix Delgado, Robert Devlin, Antoni Estevadeordal, , Eduardo Lizano, Marcelo Olarreaga, Ernesto Stein, Pablo Sanguinetti, Maurice Schiff, Marcel Vaillant, Juan Rafael Vargas and Yanira Xirinachs will be in charge of selecting the contributed papers and discussants for the regular sessions as well as the participants in invited sessions. Past LACEA Presidents Nora Lustig and Sebastian Edwards will make keynote presentations and The World Bank, IDB, IMF, Así es (Guatemala) and IICA will contribute with special papers.

Previous meetings of the Regional Integration Network attracted many very good papers and an extremely qualified attendance from around the world resulting in a very fruitful exchange of ideas. Past participants included Jeffrey Bergstrand, Edward Leamer, Arvind Panagariya, , Anthony Venables and Jeffrey Williamson, among others.

We welcome theoretical and empirical research relevant for understanding the economics and politics of RIAs (for convenience, a list of suggested topics is included in this Call for Papers which although not exhaustive will serve as a guide for Workshop participants). Both policies oriented and theoretical papers are welcomed. A special emphasis will be placed on attracting young scholars and those from Central American and Caribbean countries.

In order to participate in the Workshop it will be necessary to submit a paper or research project testifying to the author's research commitment to this field. For academic participants, we expect to be able to offer hotel accommodations and a round-trip economy class (most direct) airfare. We urge you to find other sources of funds to cover other transportation costs, as we are running this on a very limited budget. Academics and researchers currently occupying policy-making positions are welcome to participate in the Workshop without presenting a paper. However, these participants will have to procure the financing to participate in the Workshop from their own institutions.

Please, send us an email indicating your willingness to participate in the Workshop to rin2005@fce.ucr.ac.cr no later than November 14th, together with the paper title and an Abstract. The submission deadline for papers and research projects are December 5th. Papers (preliminary drafts are acceptable) must be submitted in PDF format.

In this year's Workshop we hope to replicate the success of previous editions. As an additional incentive, please, note that Costa Rica is one of the world’s premier ecotourism destinations. We have chosen the Alta Hotel for the Workshop (www.thealtahotel.com). The national elections, a civic holiday, will take a week after the Workshop.

Sincerely,

Mariano Tommasi
LACEA's President
Chairman
Department of Economics
Universidad de San Andres
Argentina

Juan-Rafael Vargas
Chairperson
Graduate Group in Economics
Universidad de Costa Rica Costa Rica
Costa Rica

*Regional Integration Network: Suggested List of Topics*

*I. Trade Integration*

- Dominican Republic-Central American and US Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) - CARICOM-Costa Rica Trade Agreement
- International Trade Rules, WTO, and Regional Trade Arrangements
- Effects of Trading Blocks on Global Liberalization
- The lesson to be learnt out of NAFTA
- CGE and other approaches to modeling trade integration

*II. The Economics and Politics of Regional Integration Agreements (RIAs)*

- Economic and Political Determinants of RIAs
- Political Economy dimensions of RIAs (e.g. should Mercosur or the Andean Community negotiate FTAA as a bloc or individually? Should RIAs be used as a trade liberalization strategy?)
- Dispute Settlement Mechanisms within RIAs
- The asymmetries of economic size of trade partners
- South-South trade agreements
- Agriculture and trade and IICA´s role
- Mexico?s role on PPP

*III. Monetary and Financial Integration*

- Currency Unions
- Exchange Rate Harmonization
- Macroeconomic coordination

*IV. Integration beyond Trade*

- Product Standards
- Labor Standards
- Environmental Standards
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Government Procurement
- Competition Policy
- Capital Markets Integration (insurance, banking, supervision)
- Tax Harmonization
- Investment Agreements

*V. The Economic and Social Impact of Integration (as defined in II, III and IV)*
- Trade Patterns
- Production Patterns
- Growth
- Technology Diffusion and Productivity
- Industrial Location and Spatial Agglomeration
- FDI
- Income Distribution
- Migration
- Employment
- Agriculture