IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

In search of WTO trade effects: Preferential trade agreements promote trade strongly, but unevenly

  • Eicher, Theo S.
  • Henn, Christian

The literature measuring the effects of WTO membership on trade flows has produced remarkably diverse results. Rose (2004) reports a wide range of empirical specifications that produce no WTO effects. Tomz et al. (2007) use Rose's data but include de facto WTO membership, to find positive WTO trade effects. Rose (2005) also produced positive WTO trade effects after accounting for the diverse trade effects produced by individual preferential trade agreements (PTAs). When Subramanian and Wei (2007) emphasize general equilibrium trade effects by controlling for multilateral resistance, they find strong WTO trade effects only for industrialized countries. Subramanian and Wei (2007), however, account neither for unobserved heterogeneity among trading partners, nor for differences in trade effects across PTAs (which could inflate WTO estimates). We unify the Rose, Tomz et al., and Subramanian and Wei specifications in one comprehensive approach that minimizes omitted variable bias to show that all specifications produce one consistent result: WTO effects on trade flows are not statistically significant, while PTAs produce strong but uneven trade effects. Extending the gravity model to address specific avenues in which WTO may have affected trade flows, we find that WTO membership boosts trade prior to PTA formation and increases trade among proximate developing countries (at the expense of distant trade). An augmented gravity model that accounts for WTO terms-of-trade theory shows that countries with greater incentives to bargain for tariff reductions before WTO accession experience positive and significant subsequent WTO trade effects.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V6D-51XH9G8-1/2/c8b3730f7a4c9f69a971c1b96a0f8ede
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 137-153

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:83:y:2011:i:2:p:137-153
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2003. "A generalized design for bilateral trade flow models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 391-397, September.
  2. Glick, Reuven & Rose, Andrew K, 2001. "Does a Currency Union Affect Trade? The Time Series Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 1276, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2007. "Does WTO Membership Make a Difference at the Extensive Margin of World Trade?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1898, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  7. Pao-li Chang & Myoung-jae Lee, 2007. "The WTO Trade Effect," Trade Working Papers 22063, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  9. Scott L. Baier & Jeffrey H. Bergstrand, 2005. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members’ international trade?," Working Paper 2005-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Theo S. Eicher & Christian Henn & Chris Papageorgiou, 2012. "Trade creation and diversion revisited: Accounting for model uncertainty and natural trading partner effects," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 296-321, 03.
  11. Richard Baldwin, 2008. "Big-Think Regionalism: A Critical Survey," NBER Working Papers 14056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Baldwin, Richard & Taglioni, Daria, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really KNow that the WTO Increases Trade?," Working Papers 182002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  14. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
  15. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "Is Japan Creating a Yen Bloc in East Asia and the Pacific?," NBER Chapters, in: Regionalism and Rivalry: Japan and the United States in Pacific Asia, pages 53-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michael Tomz & Judith L. Goldstein & Douglas Rivers, 2007. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 2005-2018, December.
  18. Man-Keung Tang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "The Value of Making Commitments Externally: Evidence from WTO Accessions," Working Papers 152009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  19. 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.
  20. Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999. "Regionalism in the Nineties: What Effect on Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. I-Hui Cheng & Howard J. Wall, 2004. "Controlling for heterogeneity in gravity models of trade and integration," Working Papers 1999-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  22. Frankel, Jeffrey & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-jin, 1995. "Trading blocs and the Americas: The natural, the unnatural, and the super-natural," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-95, June.
  23. 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.
  24. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-65, December.
  25. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  26. Peter Egger, . "A Note on the Proper Econometric Specification of the Gravity Equation," WIFO Working Papers 108, WIFO.
  27. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2003. "The proper panel econometric specification of the gravity equation: A three-way model with bilateral interaction effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 571-580, July.
  28. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei., 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-026, University of California at Berkeley.
  29. Carrere, Celine, 2006. "Revisiting the effects of regional trade agreements on trade flows with proper specification of the gravity model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 223-247, February.
  30. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  31. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, 04.
  32. J. A. Hausman & W. E. Taylor, 1980. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Working papers 255, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  33. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  34. Andrew Rose, 2005. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 682-698, 09.
  35. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:83:y:2011:i:2:p:137-153. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.