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The EU-Korea FTA: anticipation, trade policy uncertainty and impact


  • Csilla Lakatos

    (European Commission)

  • Lars Nilsson

    () (European Commission)


Abstract Anticipatory trade effects of free trade agreements (FTAs) have been documented in various papers. One reason put forward trying to explain this phenomenon is reduced trade policy uncertainty. This paper is one of the first to explore the role of anticipation and trade policy uncertainty in the case of a recently concluded deep and comprehensive EU FTA, including significant behind the border measures. We use monthly data at a lower level of aggregation (8-digit level) compared to previous studies and we account for changes in the EU product classification over time. We also distinguish between the impact on products which are actually subject to liberalisation under the FTA as opposed to those which are already duty-free and we examine the effects on both the extensive margin and the intensive margin. We consider the impact of the FTA during three different periods of time (the start of negotiations, initialling of the agreement and entry into force), while comparing with the period before negotiations began. The results indicate that the FTA has had a positive impact on exports on both margins. The impact on the EU is somewhat higher indicating that EU exporters have more to gain in terms of increasing the predictability of the trade policy regime of the destination market and lowering its tariffs than vice versa. The results demonstrate that the impact of FTAs should not be assessed against the time period just prior to entry into force of the agreement, but much earlier to account for anticipation effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Csilla Lakatos & Lars Nilsson, 2017. "The EU-Korea FTA: anticipation, trade policy uncertainty and impact," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 153(1), pages 179-198, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:153:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10290-016-0261-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10290-016-0261-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Groppo, Valeria & Piermartini, Roberta, 2014. "Trade policy uncertainty and the WTO," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2014-23, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    2. Bergin, Paul R. & Lin, Ching-Yi, 2012. "The dynamic effects of a currency union on trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 191-204.
    3. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2013. "Policy Uncertainty, Trade and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the U.S," NBER Working Papers 19376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Coulibaly, Souleymane, 2009. "Evaluating the Trade Effect of Developing Regional Trade Agreements: a Semi-parametric Approach," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 24, pages 709-743.
    5. Groppo, Valeria & Piermartini, Roberta, 2014. "Trade policy uncertainty and the WTO," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2014-23, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    6. Handley, Kyle, 2014. "Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 50-66.
    7. Enzo Croce & V. Hugo Juan-Ramon & Feng Zhu, 2004. "Performance of Western Hemisphere Trading Blocs; A Cost-Corrected Gravity Approach," IMF Working Papers 04/109, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Florian Mölders & Ulrich Volz, 2011. "Trade creation and the status of FTAs: empirical evidence from East Asia," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 147(3), pages 429-456, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Toshihiro Okubo & Fukunari Kimura & Gabriel Felbermayr & Marina Steininger, 2018. "Quantifying the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2018-015, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    2. repec:ags:ecjilt:260370 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Forizs, Virág & Nilsson, Lars, 2016. "Trade effects of the EU-Korea free trade agreement: A comparative analysis of expected and observed outcomes," DG TRADE Chief Economist Notes 2016-2, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission.

    More about this item


    EU; FTA; Anticipation; Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations


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