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Economic integration and the two margins of trade: the impact of the Barcelona Process on North African countries’ exports


  • Bensassi, Sami
  • Márquez-Ramos, Laura
  • Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada


According to recently developed models of trade with imperfect competition and heterogeneous firms, lower trade costs increase bilateral trade not only through a rise in the mean value of individual shipments (the intensive margin of trade), but also through an increase in the number of exporting firms (the extensive margin of trade). The main aim of this paper is to provide new empirical evidence of the effects of the Euro-Mediterranean (EuroMed) agreements on both margins of trade. Using highly disaggregated export data for four North African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia) and two Middle East countries (Jordan, Lebanon) over the period from 1995 to 2008, we estimate the impact of the EuroMed agreements on both trade margins and we provide empirical evidence of the validity of the theoretical predictions. Results indicate that only the North African countries enjoyed a positive and significant effect of the Barcelona process on their exports to the four biggest countries in the European Union.

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  • Bensassi, Sami & Márquez-Ramos, Laura & Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada, 2010. "Economic integration and the two margins of trade: the impact of the Barcelona Process on North African countries’ exports," MPRA Paper 27117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:27117

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. 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.
    8. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: New Facts on the Internationalization of European Firms Based on Firm-level Evidence," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 221-244.
    9. 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.
    10. Gordon Wilmsmeier & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, 2009. "Determinants of maritime transport costs -- a panel data analysis for Latin American trade," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 105-121, October.
    11. Katerina Gradeva & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, 2009. "Trade as Aid: The Role of the EBA-Trade Preferences Regime in the Development Strategy," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 197, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    12. Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada & Felicitas, Nowak-Lehmann D. & Horsewood, Nicholas, 2009. "Are regional trading agreements beneficial?: Static and dynamic panel gravity models," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 46-65, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Parra, María Dolores & Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada, 2015. "Imported inputs and Egyptian exports: Exploring the links," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 9, pages 1-31.
    2. Persson, Maria, 2012. "From trade preferences to trade facilitation: Taking stock of the issues," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 6, pages 1-33.
    3. Bourdet, Yves & Persson, Maria, 2011. "Reaping the Benefits of Deeper Euro-Med Integration Through Trade Facilitation," Working Paper Series 881, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    4. Mathilde MAUREL & Hugo LAPEYRONIE & Bogdan MEUNIER, 2016. "Impact of hard and soft infrastructure: Evidence from the EU partners, North Africa and CEECs," Working Papers P148, FERDI.
    5. Luis Marcelo Florensa & Laura Márquez-Ramos & María Luisa Recalde & María Victoria Barone, 2014. "Does economic integration increase trade margins? Empirical evidence from LAIAs countries," Working Papers 2014/05, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    6. Márquez-Ramos, Laura, 2016. "The Role of Institutional Environment in International Trade. The Case of Spanish Regions," REGION, European Regional Science Association, vol. 3, pages 125-140.
    7. Serranito, Francisco, 2013. "Heterogeneous technology and the technological catching-up hypothesis: Theory and assessment in the case of MENA countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 685-697.
    8. Luis Florensa & Laura Márquez-Ramos & María Recalde, 2015. "The effect of economic integration and institutional quality of trade agreements on trade margins: evidence for Latin America," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 151(2), pages 329-351, May.
    9. Leila Baghdadi & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Celestino Suárez-Burguet & Habib Zitouna, 2012. "Is the road to regional integration paved with pollution convergence?," Working Papers 2012/03, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).

    More about this item


    Euro-Mediterranean agreements; trade integration; intensive and extensive margins.;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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