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Free Trade Agreements In the Americas: Are the Trade Effects Larger than Anticipated?

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  • Scott L. Baier
  • Jeffrey H. Bergstrand
  • Erika Vidal

Abstract

This paper argues that the 'competitive liberalisation' of national governments of the past several decades reflects national governments' expectations of larger trade impacts from regional economic integration agreements (EIAs) than typical ex ante economic models have suggested. Moreover, we show that previous (typically cross-section) ex post empirical evaluations of the effects of EIAs on trade have seriously over- or underestimated the effects, partly due to ignoring the (endogenous) self-selection bias of country pairs into EIAs. Accounting for this bias, we find that economic integration agreements in the Americas have had much larger impacts on trade over the period 1960-2000 than previously found and the ex post estimates are less fragile than those in earlier cross-section analyses. The results shed further light on understanding the causes and consequences of the growth of regionalism in the world. Copyright 2007 The Authors Journal compilation 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd .

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 30 (2007)
Issue (Month): 9 (09)
Pages: 1347-1377

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:30:y:2007:i:9:p:1347-1377

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Cited by:
  1. Shafaeddin, Mehdi, 2008. "South-South Regionalism And Trade Cooperation In The Asia-Pacific Region," MPRA Paper 10886, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Estimating the effects of free trade agreements on international trade flows using matching econometrics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 63-76, February.
  3. Shafaeddin, Mehdi, 2010. "The rationale for South-South trade; An Alternative Approach," MPRA Paper 26354, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Jason H. Grant, 2013. "Is the growth of regionalism as significant as the headlines suggest? Lessons from agricultural trade," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 93-109, 01.
  5. Shafaeddin, Mehdi, 2010. "The Role of China in Regional South-South Trade in Asia-Pacific: Prospects for industrialization of the low-income countries," MPRA Paper 26358, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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