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What Drives Regional Trade Agreements that Work?

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Abstract

Economists have recently begun trying to explain that pattern of Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) formation around the world. This paper adds to the developing literature by taking into account the fact that many of the RTAs signed are not effectively implemented. The analysis proceeds in two steps: the gravity model is used to establish which RTAs are effectively implemented, in the sense that they positively and significantly increase trade flows between member countries compared to the flows predicted by the gravity model; second a hypothesis is tested about the pattern of effective RTAs – that successful RTAs are found between pairs of countries which send a large share of their exports to each other’s markets. Convincing evidence is found to support this hypothesis, including evidence that export interest from one partner alone does not improve the probability of an effective RTA.

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  • Tammy Holmes, 2005. "What Drives Regional Trade Agreements that Work?," IHEID Working Papers 07-2005, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heiwp07-2005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Baldwin, Richard & Jaimovich, Dany, 2012. "Are Free Trade Agreements contagious?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-16.
    2. Baldwin, Richard, 2008. "Big-Think Regionalism: a Critical Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 6874, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Agur Itai, 2008. "The US Trade Deficit, the Decline of the WTO and the Rise of Regionalism," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-34, September.
    4. Baldwin, Richard Edward & Rieder , Roland, 2007. "A Test of Endogenous Trade Bloc Formation Theory on EU Data," East Asian Economic Review, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, vol. 11(2), pages 77-110, December.
    5. Holmes, Peter & Lopez-Gonzalez, Javier, 2011. "The Nature and Evolution of Vertical Specialisation: What is the Role of Preferential Trade Agreements?," Papers 222, World Trade Institute.
    6. Herz Bernhard & Wagner Marco, 2011. "Regionalism as a Building Block for Multilateralism," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-25, March.
    7. Roland Rieder, 2006. "Playing Dominoes in Europe: An Empirical Analysis of the Domino Theory for the EU, 1962-2004," IHEID Working Papers 11-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Jun 2006.
    8. Salvador Gil & Rafael Llorca & J. Antonio Martínez-Serrano, 2008. "Assessing the Enlargement and Deepening of the European Union," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(9), pages 1253-1272, September.

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    Keywords

    International Economics; Trade; Regional Trade Agreements.;

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