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On the dynamics of trade diversion: evidence from four trade blocs

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  • Caroline L. Freund
  • John McLaren

Abstract

This paper studies the dynamics of trade reorientation experienced when a country joins a regional trade bloc. We find that the joining country's trade orientation toward bloc countries typically rises along an `S'-shaped path. We estimate the size, speed, and timing of this adjustment path for a `typical' joining country, for four trade agreements. We find that, in the European Union (EU), the incumbent bloc countries' share of the joining country's trade typically rose by eighteen percentage points over the course of the adjustment; that this took twelve years; and that the adjustment began four years before the date of accession. MERCOSUR shows a similar pattern in progress, but NAFTA and EFTA are more idiosyncratic. We argue that the data provide strong evidence of anticipatory sunk investments made to prepare for accession.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline L. Freund & John McLaren, 1999. "On the dynamics of trade diversion: evidence from four trade blocs," International Finance Discussion Papers 637, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:637
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aileen J. Thompson, 1993. "The Anticipated Sectoral Adjustment to the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement: An Event Study Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 253-271, May.
    2. Winters, L Alan, 1984. "British Imports of Manufactures and the Common Market," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 103-118, March.
    3. Winters, L. Alan, 1985. "Separability and the modelling of international economic integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 335-353.
    4. Thompson, Aileen J., 1994. "Trade liberalization, comparative advantage, and scale economies stock market evidence from Canada," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1-2), pages 1-27, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. T. Huw Edwards, 2006. "Search and the Path-Dependency of Trade," Discussion Paper Series 2006_12, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised May 2006.
    2. 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.
    3. Thomas J. Prusa & Robert Teh, 2010. "Protection Reduction and Diversion: PTAs and the Incidence of Antidumping Disputes," NBER Working Papers 16276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Csilla, Lakatos & Lars, Nilsson, 2015. "The EU-Korea free trade agreement: Anticipation, trade policy uncertainty and impact," DG TRADE Chief Economist Notes 2015-2, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission.
    5. Kreinin, Mordechai E. & Plummer, Michael G., 2008. "Effects of regional integration on FDI: An empirical approach," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-6), pages 447-454.
    6. Jaleel Ahmad, 2008. "Why are there so many Preferential Trade Areas? A Political Economy Perspective," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 51-62.
    7. Amélie Guillin, 2013. "Trade in Services and Regional Trade Agreements: Do Negotiations on Services Have to be Specific?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(11), pages 1406-1423, November.
    8. Soloaga, Isidro & Alan Wintersb, L., 2001. "Regionalism in the nineties: what effect on trade?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
    9. Lake, James & Yildiz, Halis M., 2016. "On the different geographic characteristics of Free Trade Agreements and Customs Unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 213-233.
    10. 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.
    11. Shubham Chaudhuri & John McLaren, 2007. "Some Simple Analytics of Trade and Labor Mobility," NBER Working Papers 13464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Falvey, Rod & Greenaway, David & Silva, Joana, 2010. "Trade liberalisation and human capital adjustment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 230-239, July.
    13. Luca De Benedictis & Roberta De Santis & Claudio Vicarelli, 2005. "Hub-and-Spoke or else? Free trade agreements in the 'enlarged' European Union," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 2(2), pages 245-260, December.
    14. Chapda Nana, Guy & Larue, Bruno & Gervais, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "Regional integration and dynamic adjustments: Evidence from gross national product functions for Canada and the United States," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 246-264.
    15. Stephen Cameron & Shubham Chaudhuri & John McLaren, 2007. "Trade Shocks and Labor Adjustment: Theory," NBER Working Papers 13463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Magee, Christopher S.P., 2008. "New measures of trade creation and trade diversion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 349-362, July.
    17. Antoni Estevadeordal & Junichi Goto & Raul Saez, 2000. "The New Regionalism in the Americas: The Case of MERCOSUR," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2643, Inter-American Development Bank.
    18. Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999. "How has regionalism in the 1990s affected trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2156, The World Bank.
    19. Florian Mölders, 2016. "On the Path to Trade Liberalisation: Political Regimes in Trade Negotiations," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(7), pages 890-924, July.
    20. repec:kap:iaecre:v:12:y:2006:i:4:p:435-448 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    International trade ; Free trade;

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