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Assessing the gains and vulnerability of free trade: A counterfactual analysis of Macau

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  • Yin, Hua
  • Du, Zaichao
  • Zhang, Lin

Abstract

Free trade can generate macroeconomic gains but also vulnerability to external shocks for a highly-specialized economy. To test this hypothesis, we evaluate the effects of Mainland-Macau Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) on Macau's real GDP growth rate and its volatility, as well as the costs of exposure to the anti-corruption campaign from mainland China using a counterfactual analysis. Counterfactuals of Macau are constructed by exploiting the inter-dependence among different economic entities and the optimal control group is selected with a leave-nv-out cross-validation method. Our results support the hypothesis. CEPA raised the annual real GDP growth rate of Macau by 20.76% from 2004 to 2007, meanwhile it increased the volatility of real GDP growth rate by 35%, and the anti-corruption campaign reduced the annual real GDP growth rate by 17.54% from 2013 to 2016. Our findings imply that free trade could be a double-edged sword for a small and highly-specialized economy and the gains of free trade can be enlarged by reducing its vulnerability.

Suggested Citation

  • Yin, Hua & Du, Zaichao & Zhang, Lin, 2018. "Assessing the gains and vulnerability of free trade: A counterfactual analysis of Macau," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 147-158.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:147-158
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2017.10.019
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    Keywords

    Free trade agreement; Vulnerability; Program evaluation; Counterfactual; Macau;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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