Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Ambler Moss

Second Committee Member

Maria Lorca

Third Committee Member

Hamid Serri


The Mercosur countries are very different in terms of their economic size and dimension, their level of development, their population, and the size of their market. Taking into account GDP, population and territory, Uruguay and Paraguay are clearly the smaller Mercosur members and they do not represent even 5% of any of these variables, while Brazil accounts for 70%. At the same time, there are other political and regulatory differences, such as a lack of coordinated macroeconomic policies and incentive policies, in particular. Each member has its own investment promotion policies, as well as policies to support the productive sectors and exports, which alters the conditions for competition between firms even more depending on their country of origin. This combination of structural and politicies asymmetries can be considered an obstacle to deeper integration within Mercosur. This paper addresses considerations on asymmetries and growth, and then moves onto asymmetries and integration and the different ways of addressing and treating this problem in the European Union and in Mercosur. Finally, it considers possible policy impacts.


Mercosur; regional integration; regional trade blocs; southern cone; international political economy; asymmetries in mercosur