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The clash of liberalizations : preferential versus multilateral trade liberalization in the European Union

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  • Karacaovali, Baybars
  • Limao, Nuno

Abstract

There has been an explosion in the number of preferential trade agreements in the past decade. Preferential trade agreements are characterized by liberalization with respect to only a few partners and thus they can potentially clash with and retard multilateral trade liberalization. Despite this important concern with preferential trade agreements, there is almost no systematic evidence on whether they actually affect multilateral trade liberalization. The authors model the effect of preferential trade agreements on multilateral trade liberalization and show that preferential trade agreements slow down multilateral trade liberalization unless they havea common external tariff and allow for internal transfers. Next, they use detailed data on product-level tariffs negotiated by the European Union in the past two multilateral trade rounds to structurally estimate their model. The authors confirm the main prediction-the European Union's preferential trade agreements have clashed with its multilateral trade liberalization--and find that the effect is quantitatively significant. Moreover, they also confirm several auxiliary predictions of the model and provide new evidence on the political economy determinants of multilateral liberalization in the European Union.

Suggested Citation

  • Karacaovali, Baybars & Limao, Nuno, 2005. "The clash of liberalizations : preferential versus multilateral trade liberalization in the European Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3493, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3493
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    Cited by:

    1. Seidmann, Daniel J., 2009. "Preferential trading arrangements as strategic positioning," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 143-159, September.
    2. Hayakawa, Kazunobu, 2017. "Asymmetric tariff pass-through to trade prices," IDE Discussion Papers 631, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    3. Kyle Bagwell & Chad P. Bown & Robert W. Staiger, 2016. "Is the WTO Passé?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1125-1231, December.
    4. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2015. "Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 189-222, November.
    5. Calvo-Pardo, Hector & Freund, Caroline & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2009. "The ASEAN free trade agreement : impact on trade flows and external trade barriers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4960, The World Bank.
    6. Baybars Karacaovali, 2016. "Trade-diverting free trade agreements, external tariffs, and feasibility," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 1-22, February.
    7. Bown, Chad P. & Crowley, Meredith A, 2016. "The Empirical Landscape of Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11216, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Chad P. Bown & Patricia Tovar, 2016. "Preferential Liberalization, Antidumping, and Safeguards: Stumbling Block Evidence from MERCOSUR," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 262-294, November.
    9. Caroline Freund, 2010. "Third‐country Effects of Regional Trade Agreements," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1589-1605, November.
    10. Takumi Naito, 2018. "Trade diversion is reversed in the long run," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 18-00008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    11. Tobias D. Ketterer, 2015. "EU Regionalism and External Tariff Protection: The Role of Initial Tariffs and the Heterogeneity of Preferential Market Access," Discussion Papers 2015-03, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    12. Gabriel Felbermayr & Feodora Teti & Erdal Yalcin, 2018. "On the Profitability of Trade Deflection and the Need for Rules of Origin," CESifo Working Paper Series 6929, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Baybars Karacaovali & Deveraux Talagi, 2017. "International Trade Effects of Trans-Pacific Partnership for North America," Working Papers 201701, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    14. Baybars Karacaovali, 2015. "Varying Political Economy Weights of Protection: The Case of Colombia," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 290-312, July.
    15. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:05:n:s0217590815500861 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Ketterer, Tobias D. & Bernhofen, Daniel & Milner, Chris, 2014. "Preferences, rent destruction and multilateral liberalization: The building block effect of CUSFTA," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 63-77.
    17. Tarlok Singh, 2010. "Does International Trade Cause Economic Growth? A Survey," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1517-1564, November.
    18. Paul Missios & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2017. "Do SouthSouth preferential trade agreements undermine the prospects for multilateral free trade?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(1), pages 111-161, February.
    19. Sajal Lahiri & Peri Silva, 2016. "Potential Pareto-Improving Move Toward Most Favored Nation Tariffs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1086-1104, April.
    20. Nuno Limao, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements as Stumbling Blocks for Multilateral Trade Liberalization: Evidence for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 896-914, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Theory&Research; Rules of Origin; Export Competitiveness; Environmental Economics&Policies; Trade Policy; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Trade and Regional Integration; Trade Policy; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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