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Has The World Trade Organization Promoted Successful Regional Trade Agreements?

  • Grant, Jason H.
  • Parmeter, Christopher F.

This study uses econometric gravity equations to test whether the WTO has promoted successful regional trade agreements (RTA). Two important findings emerge. First, we find that two countries that are members of the GATT/WTO and enter into a regional trade agreement stimulate trade. However, the effect on trade is not nearly as large as that between two RTA members that belong to the GATT/WTO. Contrary to the findings in Rose (2004), this result tends to support the fact that the GATT/WTO has liberalized multilateral trade, outside of RTAs. In other words, the effect of an RTA on countries’ trade who are not party to the GATT/WTO should generate a large RTA trade response due to relatively large pre-existing trade distortions. Second, we show that the GATT/WTO has not promoted successful RTAs using explicit RTA variables that controls for the notification status (to the GATT/WTO) of an RTA. Interestingly, non-notified RTAs trade significantly more than their notified counterparts.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/6551
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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida with number 6551.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6551
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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, Ernesto Stein, and Shang-Jin Wei., 1996. "Regional Trading Arrangements: Natural or Super-Natural?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-059, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Crawford, Jo-Ann & Fiorentino, Roberto V., 2005. "The changing landscape of regional trade agreements," WTO Discussion Papers 8, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  3. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," NBER Working Papers 9273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anne O. Krueger, 1999. "Trade Creation and Trade Diversion Under NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 7429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. 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.
  7. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Regional Trading Arrangements," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt5hf1z4rv, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  10. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1998. "The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 33-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Jason H. Grant & Dayton M. Lambert, 2008. "Do Regional Trade Agreements Increase Members' Agricultural Trade?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 765-782.
  13. Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999. "How has regionalism in the 1990s affected trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2156, The World Bank.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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