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Do Customs Union Members Engage in More Bilateral Trade than Free-Trade Agreement Members?

  • Jayjit Roy

This paper provides the first empirical analysis directly comparing the effects of customs unions (CUs) and free-trade agreements (FTAs) on members' bilateral trade, while addressing the biases arising from log-linearization of the gravity model and crucial time-invariant unobservables. Since Fiorentino et al. (2007 ) question the popularity of CUs relative to FTAs, considering the latter to be more practical in the current trading climate, such a comparison seems especially relevant. While Baier and Bergstrand (2007 ) find an FTA to approximately double members' bilateral trade after 10 years, the results of this paper find CUs to have had a much larger impact than FTAs. Copyright � 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (09)
Pages: 663-681

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:18:y:2010:i:4:p:663-681
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  1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  2. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
  3. Millimet, Daniel & Henderson, Daniel, 2006. "Is Gravity Linear?," Departmental Working Papers 0517, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  4. Ghosh, Sucharita & Yamarik, Steven, 2004. "Are regional trading arrangements trade creating?: An application of extreme bounds analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 369-395, July.
  5. Magee Christopher S, 2003. "Endogenous Preferential Trade Agreements: An Empirical Analysis," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, December.
  6. Krueger, Anne O., 1997. "Free trade agreements versus customs unions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 169-187, October.
  7. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
  8. Anne O. Krueger, 1999. "Are Preferential Trading Arrangements Trade-Liberalizing or Protectionist?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 105-124, Fall.
  9. Kala Krishna, 2005. "Understanding Rules of Origin," NBER Working Papers 11150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. A. Clausing , Kimberly, 2000. "Customs Unions and Free Trade Areas," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 15, pages 418-435.
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