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A study case on the caveats in the measurement of FTAs effect on trade: Switzerland’s free trade agreements


  • Timothy Nussbaumer



This paper analyses the effect of 20 of the 31 Swiss free trade agreements (FTAs) on Swiss trade flows, using disaggregated trade data for the period between 1993 and 2014. Applying the standard gravity model of trade, the impact of each individual FTA on Swiss exports and imports is estimated. Although the descriptive evidence suggests a positive impact of most FTAs, the estimation results at the disaggregated level are inconclusive. Taking Switzerland as a case study, this work points towards important methodological difficulties in the measurement of FTA effects on trade at the disaggregated level.

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  • Timothy Nussbaumer, 2017. "A study case on the caveats in the measurement of FTAs effect on trade: Switzerland’s free trade agreements," Aussenwirtschaft, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economics Research, vol. 68(01), pages 139-167, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:auswrt:2017:68:01:139-167

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    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
    2. Alan de Bromhead & Alan Fernihough & Markus Lampe & Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2017. "When Britain turned inward: Protection and the shift towards Empire in Interwar Britain," NBER Working Papers 23164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sergio Correia, 2014. "REGHDFE: Stata module to perform linear or instrumental-variable regression absorbing any number of high-dimensional fixed effects," Statistical Software Components S457874, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 18 Nov 2019.
    4. 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.
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