The Effectiveness of Preferential Trade Liberalization in Central and Eastern Europe
After the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) many countries in the region radically liberalized their foreign trade regimes in the 1990s. In particular preferential trade liberalization in the CEE countries has been promoted by the European Union in the form of the association agreements that involved “vertical” trade liberalization between the EU and countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to this the CEE countries liberalized trade “horizontally” among themselves in the form of sub-regional and bilateral free trade agreements. In this paper, we use the generalized gravity equation estimated on bilateral trade data for ten CEE countries during the period of 1993-2004 to evaluate the effectiveness of preferential trade liberalization in Central and Eastern Europe. We find that all forms of preferential trade liberalization positively contributed to the expansion of trade of the CEE countries but their impact was country specific.
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