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Evaluating the Trade and Welfare Effects of Developing RTAs

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  • Souleymane COULIBALY

Abstract

Many recent papers have pointed to ambiguous trade effects of developing regional trade agreements, calling for a reassessment of their economic merits. We focus on six such agreements currently in force in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America, estimating their impacts on trade flows and welfare. We combine a gravity model with kernel and bootstrap estimation techniques so as to capture the non-monotonic trade effects while imposing minimal structure. Instead of the usual dummy variables for RTAs, we propose a new variable, capturing the number of years of a country's RTA membership, and we adapt the framework proposed by Winters (1997) to relate trade effects to their welfare implications. The results indicate that only AFTA and MERCOSUR have induced positive trade and welfare effects. The remaining RTAs have produced mixed effects for their members.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 06.03.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:06.03

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
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Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Keywords: regional trade agreement; kernel regression; bootstrap; welfare;

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References

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  1. Robert J. R. Elliott & Kengo Ikemoto, 2004. "AFTA and the Asian Crisis: Help or Hindrance to ASEAN Intra-Regional Trade?," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23, 03.
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  7. I-Hui Cheng & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Controlling for heterogeneity in gravity models of trade and integration," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 49-63.
  8. Lucian Cernat, 2001. "ASSESSING REGIONAL TRADE ARRANGEMENTS: ARE SOUTH–SOUTH RTAs MORE TRADE DIVERTING?," International Trade 0109001, EconWPA.
  9. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
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  12. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  13. Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999. "Regionalism in the Nineties: What Effect on Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Deardoff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Working Papers 382, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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  16. Winters, L. Alan, 1986. "Britain in Europe: A Survey of Quantitative Trade Studies," CEPR Discussion Papers 110, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Antonio Spilimbergo & Ernesto Stein, 1998. "The Welfare Implications of Trading Blocs among Countries with Different Endowments," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 121-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Anne O. Krueger, 1999. "Trade Creation and Trade Diversion Under NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 7429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Ernesto Stein & Shang-Jin Wei, 1993. "Continental Trading Blocs: Are They Natural, or Super-Natural?," NBER Working Papers 4588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Aitken, Norman D, 1973. "The Effect of the EEC and EFTA on European Trade: A Temporal Cross-Section Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(5), pages 881-92, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Catherine FIGUIERE & Laëtitia GUILHOT, 2008. "La Chine : Prochain Leader Economique De L’Asie Orientale ?," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 28, pages 151-180.
  2. Florian Mölders & Ulrich Volz, 2011. "Trade creation and the status of FTAs: empirical evidence from East Asia," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 429-456, September.

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