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

Revisiting the Effectiveness of African Economic Integration. A Meta-Analytic Review and Comparative Estimation Methods

  • Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University)

Registered author(s):

    The gravity model has extensively been used in estimating the effectiveness of a number of RTAs in the world. However, many previous studies that assess the effectiveness of African RTAs using gravity model produce contrasting results and are characterize by two main shortcomings. Firstly, these studies failed to account for multilateral resistance term (MRT). The omission of the MRT contributes to biased estimates for standard variables in the gravity model. This bias is reflected in parameters of these previous studies. Secondly, there is significant proportion of zero flows in developing countries’ trade measurement; however, these studies fail in dealing with them properly. The zero flows are more endemic when one considers only African bilateral trade, which has over 50% zero flows. In an attempt to correct this anomaly, previous studies rely on the Tobit model or replacing zero flows with small values. However this strategy has been labeled as infeasible and producing inconsistent parameters. In this study, we conduct a meta-analysis of previous empirical studies to explain the potential heterogeneity in the studies and compare the different estimation methods of the gravity model to Poisson Pseudo Maximum Likelihood (PPML). Using panel data on trade flows from 1980 to 2006 for 47 African countries, we estimate the gravity model for the five major RTAs on the Africa continent. We find that although there is general positive impact of African RTAs, impacts are highly sensitive to different estimation methods and they tend to be significantly overestimated when zero flows are not properly dealt with. Comparative assessment of the five major RTAs indicates highly uneven performance.

    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: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/afn/wp/13/wp13_13.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2013-13.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 31
    Date of creation: 02 Sep 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2013-13
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

    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. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
    2. Lucian Cernat, 2001. "ASSESSING REGIONAL TRADE ARRANGEMENTS: ARE SOUTH–SOUTH RTAs MORE TRADE DIVERTING?," International Trade 0109001, EconWPA.
    3. T.D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos & Margaret Giles & Jost H. Heckemeyer & Robert J. Johnston & Patrice Laroche & Jon P. Nelson & Martin Paldam & Jacques Poot & Geoff Pugh & Randall S. Rosenberger & , 2013. "Meta-Analysis Of Economics Research Reporting Guidelines," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 390-394, 04.
    4. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Bonus vetus OLS: A simple method for approximating international trade-cost effects using the gravity equation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 77-85, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Richard Baldwin, 1989. "Measureable Dynamic Gains from Trade," NBER Working Papers 3147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Genc, Murat & Gheasi, Masood & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2011. "The Impact of Immigration on International Trade: A Meta-Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 6145, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Cipollina, Maria & Salvatici, Luca, 2007. "Reciprocal trade agreements in gravity models: a meta-analysis," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp07035, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.
    9. Boriss Siliverstovs & Dieter Schumacher, 2007. "Estimating Gravity Equations: To Log or Not to Log?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 739, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Jarko Fidrmuc, 2009. "Gravity models in integrated panels," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 435-446, October.
    12. 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.
    13. Foroutan, Faezeh & Pritchett, Lant, 1993. "Intra - Sub - Saharan African trade : is it too little?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1225, The World Bank.
    14. Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
    15. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse, Toolkit, and Cookbook," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2013-02, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
    16. Anthony J. Venables, 2003. "Winners and losers from regional integration agreements," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 747-761, October.
    17. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2009. "Further Simulation Evidence on the Performance of the Poisson Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood Estimator," CEP Discussion Papers dp0933, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    19. 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.
    20. Céline Carrère, 2004. "African Regional Agreements: Impact on Trade with or without Currency Unions," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(2), pages 199-239, June.
    21. Roberto Longo & Khalid Sekkat, 2004. "Economic obstacles to expanding intra-African trade," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7358, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    22. Jacob Wanjala Musila, 2005. "The Intensity of Trade Creation and Trade Diversion in COMESA, ECCAS and ECOWAS: A Comparative Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(1), pages 117-141, March.
    23. Afesorgbor, S.K. & van Bergeijk, P.A.G., 2011. "Multi-membership and the effectiveness of regional trade agreements in Western and Southern Africa," ISS Working Papers - General Series 22781, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    24. Alemayehu Geda & Haile Kebret, 2008. "Regional Economic Integration in Africa: A Review of Problems and Prospects with a Case Study of COMESA," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(3), pages 357-394, June.
    25. Afesorgbor, Sylvanus Kwaku & van Bergeijk, Peter A.G., 2011. "Multi-membership and effectiveness of regional trade agreements in Western and Southern Africa: a comparative study of ECOWAS and SADC," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 1, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    26. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
    27. Brada, Josef C & Mendez, Jose A, 1985. "Economic Integration among Developed, Developing and Centrally Planned Economies: A Comparative Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 549-56, November.
    28. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, 2013. "The log of gravity revisited," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 311-327, January.
    29. 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.
    30. Richard K. Abrams, 1980. "International trade flows under flexible exchange rates," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Mar, pages 3-10.
    31. T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, 07.
    32. 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.
    33. Scott L. Baier & Jeffrey H. Bergstrand & Peter Egger & Patrick A. McLaughlin, 2008. "Do Economic Integration Agreements Actually Work? Issues in Understanding the Causes and Consequences of the Growth of Regionalism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 461-497, 04.
    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:aah:aarhec:2013-13. 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: ()

    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.