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Performance of Western Hemisphere Trading Blocs; A Cost-Corrected Gravity Approach

  • Enzo Croce
  • V. Hugo Juan-Ramon
  • Feng Zhu
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    We study the performance of the four Western Hemisphere trading blocs during the period 1978-2001. For the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), trade integration outweighed trade diversion; for MERCOSUR, increased integration and trade diversion went hand in hand; for the Central American Common Market (CACM) and the Andean Community, the evidence points to trade diversion only. We also find that trade among neighboring countries has increased since the early 1990s. The estimations are based on a nonlinear gravity equation that incorporates the hypothesis that exports create externalities that affect trade costs. This hypothesis might help reconcile the theoretical unitary income elasticity with most empirical findings of a non-unitary income elasticity in studies using the gravity equation.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/109.

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    Length: 24
    Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/109
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    1. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, 1999. "Exchange Rate Fluctuations and Trade Flows: Evidence from the European Union," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(3), pages 5.
    2. Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999. "Regionalism in the Nineties: What Effect on Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Arvind Panagariya, 1999. "The Regionalism Debate: An Overview," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 477-512, 06.
    4. Reuven Glick & Andrew K. Rose, 1998. "Contagion and trade: why are currency crises regional?," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 98-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Working Papers 7777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
    8. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1998. "Regionalism in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1214-1245, December.
    9. James E. Anderson, 1999. "Why Do Nations Trade (So Little)?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 428, Boston College Department of Economics.
    10. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72.
    11. Anne O. Krueger, 1999. "Trade Creation and Trade Diversion Under NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 7429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
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