Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Peter Sai-wing Ho, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Andrew Goetz

Third Advisor

Tracy Mott

Fourth Advisor

Rudiger von Arnim


Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Foreign investment, Market access, North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, PTAs, Preferential trade agreements, Development, Regional economic integration


The importance of PTAs in today's global economic order is unmistakable, especially during the last fifteen years when their proliferation has dramatically accelerated and their scope and structure have radically changed. However, the available theoretical framework (international trade theories) from which their developmental impact is assessed seems to be largely lagging behind. Hence, there is a crucial need for more realistic assessments of their embedded developmental features because an increasing number of developing countries are perceiving these agreements as one of the key instruments to propel their long delayed economic development. In this thesis, I strive to construct an alternative theoretical framework that can better adapt to current PTAs' structures, allowing a more realistic assessment of their economic impact on developing countries. By following this alternative approach, I comparatively assess the development drive of two of today's most important PTAs, namely NAFTA and ASEAN. The main conclusion echoes an increasing literature that warns developing countries from engaging in "reciprocal" North-South PTAs, but at the same time, encourages them to pursue South-South integration, which can prove to be beneficial for their development.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jose Luis Ramirez


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

131 p.


Economics, Economics, Commerce-Business, International law