The greatest strength of this thoroughly revised and expanded edition of Lectures on International Trade is its rigorous algebraic and geometric treatment of the various models and results of trade theory. The authors, who now include Arvind Panagariya, offer both policy insights and empirical applications. They have added nine entirely new chapters as well as new sections to several existing chapters (e.g., a greatly expanded treatment of the growing theory of preferential trade agreements).
The recent proliferation of free trade areas and customs unions in the world trading system has led to an explosive revival of interest in the economic analysis of Preferential Trade Arrangements (PTAs). The principal theoretical question of the 1950s and 1960s (Viner) was whether PTAs would create or divert trade, causing welfare improvement or loss. The principal theoretical question (Bhagwati) of the late 1980s and 1990s has been whether PTAs encourage or discourage the worldwide nondiscriminatory freeing of trade.