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Preferential Trade Liberalization and the Path-Dependent Expansion of Exports

  • Ingo Borchert

    ()

In the presence of sunk costs to exporting, preferential tariff liberalization may have a prolonged, dynamic effect on the pattern of a beneficiary country's exports. In particular, preferential tariff liberalization might trigger a geographic spread of exports to third markets outside the preferential trading area. I test this hypothesis for the pattern of Mexican exports after the inception of NAFTA to several Latin American trading partners. After controlling for product specific shocks and the overall trend in export growth, the evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that initial exports to the United States further prompted exports to third markets. The results suggest a significant impact on exports to large or geographically proximate countries (Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama). The stunning growth in the extensive margin as a count measure owes much to rather simple goods, while more sophisticated goods exert a substantial impact on the value of Mexican exports. The findings also document the existence of considerable tariff-induced trade diversion for goods with little skill or technology content.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2007/DP-06-Bor.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 with number 2007-06.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-06
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  1. 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.
  2. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
  3. Paul M. Romer, 1993. "New Goods, Old Theory, and the Welfare Costs of Trade Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 4452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," NBER Working Papers 10344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning By Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence From Colombia, Mexico, And Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947, August.
  6. Sanjaya Lall, 2000. "The Technological Structure and Performance of Developing Country Manufactured Exports, 1985-98," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 337-369.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," NBER Working Papers 8349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  9. 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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