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Intra-industry trade and regional integration


  • Ecochard, Pierre
  • Fontagné, Lionel
  • Gaulier, Guillaume
  • Zignago, Soledad


The link between regional integration and intra-industry trade (IIT) has been under scrutiny since it has been first suggested by the European integration process. However, the lack of reliable data and the difficulty to find a robust model for IIT made this relationship difficult to prove. This paper tackles this issue using an harmonised dataset at the most detailed level of product disaggregation on a worldwide basis from the beginning of the 1990s to 2002. We study the case of four de jure or de facto integration zones: the European Union, NAFTA, Mercosur and East Asia. Trade flows are classified as inter- or intra-industry trade and IIT is broken down into horizontal and vertical components. Trade patterns for each zone are studied using a harmonized database drawing on the most detailed information available. The determinants of the share of vertical and horizontal IIT are investigated. A robust positive relationship is found between regional integration and intra-industry trade, both vertically and horizontally differentiated.

Suggested Citation

  • Ecochard, Pierre & Fontagné, Lionel & Gaulier, Guillaume & Zignago, Soledad, 2005. "Intra-industry trade and regional integration," MPRA Paper 44182, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44182

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. Guillaume Gaulier & Françoise Lemoine & Deniz Ünal-Kesenci, 2005. "China’s Integration in East Asia: Production Sharing, FDI & High-Tech Trade," Working Papers 2005-09, CEPII research center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaulier, Guillaume & Zignago, Soledad, 2004. "Notes on BACI (analytical database of international trade). 1989-2002 version," MPRA Paper 32401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Lionel Fontagné & Michael Freudenberg & Guillaume Gaulier, 2006. "A Systematic Decomposition of World Trade into Horizontal and Vertical IIT," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(3), pages 459-475, October.
    3. João Amador & Sónia Cabral, 2009. "Intra-Industry Trade in the Portuguese Economy: Products and Partners," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    4. Kiichiro Fukasaku & Bo Meng & Norihiko Yamano, 2011. "Recent Developments in Asian Economic Integration: Measuring Indicators of Trade Integration and Fragmentation," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2011/3, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item


    Intra-Industry Trade; Regional Integration;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade


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