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Weak Governments and Trade Agreements

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  • Arcand, Jean-Louis
  • Olarreaga, Marcelo
  • Zoratto, Laura

Abstract

The recent theoretical literature on the determinants of trade agreements has stressed the importance of political gains, such as credibility, as a rationale for trade agreements. The empirical literature, however, has lagged behind in the estimation of the economic gains or losses associated with these politically motivated trade agreements. This paper fills that gap by providing estimates of the economic impact of politically and economically motivated trade agreements. We find that credibility gains play a role in increasing the probability of two countries signing an agreement. Moreover, agreements with a stronger political motivation are more trade creating than agreements that are signed for pure market access / economic reasons, and the value for the government of solving its time inconsistency problems through trade agreements is estimated at an average of 1.8% of GDP, which compares quite well with the traditional estimates of the economic gains from trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8595.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8595

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Keywords: Credibility; Political economy; Trade agreements;

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  1. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Kevin E. Staub & Rainer Winkelmann, 2010. "The Trade Effects of Endogenous Preferential Trade Agreements," CESifo Working Paper Series 3253, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2006. "Estimating trade restrictiveness indices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3840, The World Bank.
  3. Céline CARRERE, 2003. "Revisiting the Effects of Regional Trading Agreements on trade flows with Proper Specification of the Gravity Model," Working Papers 200310, CERDI.
  4. Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506, November.
  5. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
  6. Liu, Xuepeng & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2013. "Free Trade Agreements and the Consolidation of Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 9279, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Nuno Limão & Patricia Tovar, 2009. "Policy Choice: Theory and Evidence from Commitment via International Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 14655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gawande, Kishore & Krishna, Pravin & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2009. "What Governments Maximize and Why: The View from Trade," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(03), pages 491-532, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Dick Nuwamanya Kamuganga, 2012. "What Drives Africa's Export Diversification?," IHEID Working Papers 15-2012, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  2. Peter Egger & Georg Wamser, 2013. "Effects of the Endogenous Scope of Preferentialism on International Goods Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 4208, CESifo Group Munich.

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