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Evaluating the Trade and Welfare Effects of Developing RTAs

  • Souleymane COULIBALY

Many recent papers have pointed to ambiguous trade effects of developing regional trade agreements, calling for a reassessment of their economic merits. We focus on six such agreements currently in force in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America, estimating their impacts on trade flows and welfare. We combine a gravity model with kernel and bootstrap estimation techniques so as to capture the non-monotonic trade effects while imposing minimal structure. Instead of the usual dummy variables for RTAs, we propose a new variable, capturing the number of years of a country's RTA membership, and we adapt the framework proposed by Winters (1997) to relate trade effects to their welfare implications. The results indicate that only AFTA and MERCOSUR have induced positive trade and welfare effects. The remaining RTAs have produced mixed effects for their members.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 06.03.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:06.03
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.20
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