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On The Importance Of Market Access For Trade

  • Marco Fugazza
  • Alessandro Nicita

One of the consequences of the proliferation of preferential trade agreements is that an increasing share of international trade is not subject to the most favoured nation (MFN) tariff, but enters markets through preferential access. Preferential access affects trade because, by providing some countries with a relative advantage, it is essentially a discriminatory practice. This paper examines the extent to which preferential access affects bilateral trade flows. The empirical approach consists first in providing two indices: one summarizing direct market access conditions (the overall tariff faced by exports) and one measuring relative market access conditions (the overall tariff faced by exports relative to that faced by competitors). Then, the indices are used in a gravity model in order to estimate how changes in market access conditions affect international trade. Although those conditions are generally more important, the results indicate that the relative advantage provided by the structure of preferences also affects the magnitude of bilateral trade flows. That is, bilateral trade flows depend on the advantage provided by the system of preferences over other competitors.

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Paper provided by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in its series UNCTAD Blue Series Papers with number 50.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:unc:blupap:50
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  1. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Hiau Looi Kee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2008. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 666-682, November.
  3. Scott L. Baier & Jeffrey H. Bergstrand, 2005. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members’ international trade?," Working Paper 2005-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Estimating the effects of free trade agreements on international trade flows using matching econometrics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 63-76, February.
  5. Hector Calvo-Pardo & Caroline Freund & Emanuel Ornelas, 2009. "The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement: Impact on Trade Flows and External Trade Barriers," CEP Discussion Papers dp0930, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Lee, Jong-Wha & Shin, Kwanho, 2005. "Does Regionalism Lead to More Global Trade Integration in East Asia?," MPRA Paper 706, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  9. Kimberly A. Clausing, 2001. "Trade creation and trade diversion in the Canada - United States Free Trade Agreement," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 677-696, August.
  10. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  11. Bernard Hoekman & Will Martin & Carlos A. Primo Braga, 2009. "Trade Preference Erosion : Measurement and Policy Response," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9437.
  12. Carrere, Celine, 2006. "Revisiting the effects of regional trade agreements on trade flows with proper specification of the gravity model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 223-247, February.
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