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Trade liberalization and institutional reforms

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  • Angela Cheptea

Abstract

The accession of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries to the European Union (EU) is expected to lead to the new member countries becoming more like the older members, including in terms of trade. In this paper, we focus on two factors promoting CEE-EU trade integration: trade liberalization and institutional reforms. Measures of trade liberalization undertaken by both parties during the 1990s were very substantial, but did not always produce the expected upsurge of regional trade flows. Much less progress has been made in improving the functioning of CEE institutions (e.g., progress in the privatization process or in reducing corruption). Countries where most important changes at the institutional level occurred were also those that most increased their trade with the EU. Comparing the impact of these two factors, we find that improving institutions in CEE countries can generate as much trade as the removal of all tariff and non-tariff barriers. The paper also addresses the issue of the presence of reversed causality between trade and institutions, and the pro-trade effect of institutional similarity. Copyright (c) 2007 The Author Journal compilation (c) 2007 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development .

Suggested Citation

  • Angela Cheptea, 2007. "Trade liberalization and institutional reforms," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15(2), pages 211-255, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:15:y:2007:i:2:p:211-255
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Antoine Bouët & Lionel Fontagné & Mondher Mimouni & Xavier Pichot, 2001. "Market Access Maps: A Bilateral and Disaggregated Measure of Market Access," Working Papers 2001-18, CEPII research center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fuchs, Michaela & Wohlrabe, Klaus, 2008. "Institutions, trade, and integration: what can be expected within the enlarged EU?," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 16/08, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    2. Leon Podkaminer, 2013. "Development Patterns of Central and East European Countries (in the course of transition and following EU accession)," wiiw Research Reports 388, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    3. Eicher, Theo S. & Schreiber, Till, 2010. "Structural policies and growth: Time series evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 169-179, January.
    4. Richard Frensch & Roman Horváth & Stephan Huber, 2016. "Trade Patterns and Endogenous Institutions: Global Evidence," Working Papers 358, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    5. Hochman, Gal & Tabakis, Chrysostomos & Zilberman, David, 2013. "The impact of international trade on institutions and infrastructure," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 126-140.

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