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Deep trade agreements and global value chains


  • Laget,Edith
  • Osnago,Alberto
  • Rocha,Nadia
  • Ruta,Michele


Preferential trade agreements have become deeper over time, often encompassing policy areas that go beyond traditional trade policy, such as investment, competition, and intellectual property rights protection. In the literature, a prominent argument why countries sign"deep"agreements is to promote and facilitate the operation of global value chains. This paper exploits a new data set on the content of trade agreements and data on trade in value added and in parts and components, to quantify the impact of the depth of trade agreements on bilateral cross-border production linkages. The results show that adding a policy area to a trade agreement increases the domestic value added of intermediates (forward global value chain linkages) and the foreign value added of intermediates (backward global value chain linkages) by 0.48 and 0.38 percent, respectively. At the sectoral level, the positive impact of deep trade agreements is higher for higher value-added industries, suggesting that deep agreements help countries to integrate in industries with higher levels of value added. For a larger sample of countries and years, the results confirm that an additional provision in a trade agreement increases bilateral trade in parts and components by 0.3 percent. The content of trade agreements also matters for global value chain integration, but the impact varies by income group. Provisions outside the current mandate of the World Trade Organization (investment and competition policy) drive the effect of trade agreements on North-South trade in parts and components. Provisions under the current World Trade Organization mandate (tariff reduction and customs facilitation) drive the effect of trade agreements on South-South trade in parts and components.

Suggested Citation

  • Laget,Edith & Osnago,Alberto & Rocha,Nadia & Ruta,Michele, 2018. "Deep trade agreements and global value chains," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8491, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:8491

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2013. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2127-2204, November.
    2. Piermartini, Roberta & Yotov, Yoto, 2016. "Estimating Trade Policy Effects with Structural Gravity," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2016-10, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    3. Henrik Horn & Petros C. Mavroidis & André Sapir, 2010. "Beyond the WTO? An Anatomy of EU and US Preferential Trade Agreements," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1565-1588, November.
    4. Alberto Osnago & Nadia Rocha & Michele Ruta, 2019. "Deep trade agreements and vertical FDI: The devil is in the details," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1558-1599, November.
    5. Pol Antras & Davin Chor & Thibault Fally & Russell Hillberry, 2012. "Measuring the Upstreamness of Production and Trade Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 412-416, May.
    6. Gianluca Orefice & Nadia Rocha, 2014. "Deep Integration and Production Networks: An Empirical Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 106-136, January.
    7. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
    8. Hofmann, Claudia & Osnago, Alberto & Ruta, Michele, 2019. "The Content of Preferential Trade Agreements," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 365-398, July.
    9. Robert C. Johnson & Guillermo Noguera, 2017. "A Portrait of Trade in Value-Added over Four Decades," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(5), pages 896-911, December.
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    11. Egger, Peter & Larch, Mario, 2008. "Interdependent preferential trade agreement memberships: An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 384-399, December.
    12. Alberto Osnago & Nadia Rocha & Michele Ruta, 2017. "Do Deep Trade Agreements Boost Vertical FDI?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(Supplemen), pages 119-125.
    13. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
    14. Mattoo,Aaditya & Mulabdic,Alen & Ruta,Michele & Mattoo,Aaditya & Mulabdic,Alen & Ruta,Michele, 2017. "Trade creation and trade diversion in deep agreements," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8206, The World Bank.
    15. Mauro Boffa & Marion Jansen & Olga Solleder, 2019. "Do we need deeper trade agreements for GVCs or just a BIT?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(6), pages 1713-1739, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Permani, Risti & Xu, Xing, 2020. "The Nexus between Natural disasters, Supply Chains and Trade – Revisiting the Role of FTAs in Disaster Risk Reduction," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304269, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Gaulier, Guillaume & Sztulman, Aude & Ünal, Deniz, 2020. "Are global value chains receding? The jury is still out. Key findings from the analysis of deflated world trade in parts and components," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 219-236.
    3. Baniya,Suprabha & Rocha Gaffurri,Nadia Patrizia & Ruta,Michele, 2019. "Trade Effects of the New Silk Road: A Gravity Analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8694, The World Bank.
    4. Baniya, Suprabha & Rocha, Nadia & Ruta, Michele, 2020. "Trade effects of the New Silk Road: A gravity analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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