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What Is The Cause Of Growth In Regional Trade: Trade Liberalization Or Rta'S? The Case Of Agriculture

  • Diao, Xinshen
  • Roe, Terry L.
  • Somwaru, Agapi

This paper delves into the debate on the proliferation of regional trade arrangements by focusing on bilateral agricultural trade data over the 1962-1995 period for countries that currently are members of NAFTA, Mercosur, the EU and APEC. Agricultural is chosen because it has historically been protected by developed and dis-protected by developing nations, while in the case of the EU, its Common Agricultural Policy was the major policy jointly managed and funded by member countries. We suggest that the literature has tended to focus on factors explaining the level of trade, and neglected factors affecting growth in trade. While neighborhood characteristics affect neighborhood trade, they also appear to affect the policy regimes of neighboring countries. The shift to more outward oriented regimes is thus likely to induce a dynamic in trade among neighboring countries requiring several years to stabilize. As neighborhood trade grows, it is natural to form trade arrangements so as to harmonize policies and to remove other barriers. If this is the case, then we should expect the growth in intra regional trade to exceed growth in extra-regional trade, and these patterns should occur before the formation of regional trade arrangements. Our results support this explanation.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/14605
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Paper provided by International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium in its series Working Papers with number 14605.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iatrwp:14605
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  1. Alexis Jacquemin & André Sapir, 1988. "European integration or world integration?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 127-139, March.
  2. Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen, 1999. "Trade liberalization and regional integration: the search for large numbers," TMD discussion papers 34, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  4. Sapir, Andre, 1992. "Regional Integration in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1491-506, November.
  5. Robert C. Feenstra, . "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Department of Economics 98-06, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  6. Gopinath, Munisamy & Arnade, Carlos & Shane, Mathew & Roe, Terry, 1997. "Agricultural competitiveness: The case of the United States and major EU countries," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 16(2), May.
  7. Ernesto Stein & Jeffrey Frankel, 1994. "The welfare implications of continental trading blocs in a model with transport costs," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 94-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1998. "The New Regionalism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1149-61, July.
  9. Fernandez, Raquel & Portes, Jonathan, 1998. "Returns to Regionalism: An Analysis of Nontraditional Gains from Regional Trade Agreements," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 197-220, May.
  10. Shang-Jin Wei & David C. Parsley, 1995. "Purchasing Power Disparity During the Floating Rate Period: Exchange Rate Volatility, Trade Barriers and Other Culprits," NBER Working Papers 5032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Stern, R.M. & Deardorff, A.V., 1992. "Multilateral Trade Negociations and Preferential Trading Arrangements," Working Papers 307, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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