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EU Trade Preferences and Export Diversification

Since at least the 1960s, the European Union (EU) has offered various kinds of non-reciprocal trade preferences for developing countries. Originally, these trade preferences had at least two policy goals: (i) to increase export volumes for developing countries and thereby boost their export earnings, and (ii) to facilitate export diversification. While extensive research has confirmed that the first of these goals is typically met, the second goal seems to have been largely forgotten by researchers as well as in policy circles. The aim of this paper is therefore to analyse the impact of the EU’s non-reciprocal trade preferences for developing countries on export diversification. Our estimation results suggest that some trade preference programs, such as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), are associated with increasing ranges of export products. By contrast, preferences offered to Mediterranean countries typically have no significant effects, and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) preferences actually have negative effects toward the end of our time period, suggesting that ACP countries may respond to preferences by specializing into fewer goods.

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Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013:32.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 17 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2013_032
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
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  1. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  2. Alberto Amurgo Pacheco, 2006. "Preferential Trade Liberalization and the Range of Exported Products: The Case of the Euro-Mediterranean FTA," IHEID Working Papers 18-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
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  8. Asier Minondo, 2011. "Does comparative advantage explain countries’ diversification level?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 507-526, September.
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  10. Wacziarg, Romain & Imbs, Jean, 2000. "Stages of Diversification," Research Papers 1653, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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  12. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2006. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 642-674, December.
  13. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  14. Finger, J M & Kreinin, M E, 1979. "A Measure of 'Export Similarity' and Its Possible Uses," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 905-12, December.
  15. Persson, Maria, 2011. "From trade preferences to trade facilitation: Taking stock of the issues," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-23, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  16. George N. Yannopoulos, 1986. "Patterns of Response to EC Tariff Preferences: An Empirical Investigation of Selected Non-ACP Associates," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 15-30, 09.
  17. André Sapir, 1981. "Trade benefits under the EEC generalized system of preferences," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8290, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Persson, Maria & Wilhelmsson, Fredrik, 2006. "Assessing the Effects of EU Trade Preferences for Developing Countries," Working Papers 2006:4, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 26 Jun 2006.
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  20. repec:lmu:muenar:20646 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Elisa Gamberoni, 2007. "Do unilateral trade preferences help export diversification? An investigation of the impact of European unilateral trade preferences on the extensive and intensive margin of trade," IHEID Working Papers 17-2007, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
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