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Preferential Trade Agreements and MFN Tariffs: Global Evidence

Author

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  • David J. Kuenzel

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

  • Rishi R. Sharma

    (Department of Economics, Colgate University)

Abstract

We study the effects of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) on multilateral liberalization using a new global tariff database that covers the 2001-2010 period. Employing a theoretically motivated empirical approach and instrumental variable strategy, we provide evidence that PTAs induce tariff cuts on non-member countries. Our baseline estimates imply that each 1% point PTA-induced decline in applied tariffs lowers most-favored nation (MFN) tariff rates by 0.42% points. This effect is driven by countries that negotiate deeper preferential trade deals. PTAs that span more policy fields are prone to lead to more inefficient trade diversion, which creates a stronger incentive to subsequently cut MFN tariffs. At the same time, our results are remarkably consistent across other subsamples emphasized in the literature, including high- and low-tariff importers, poorer and richer economies as well as large and small countries.

Suggested Citation

  • David J. Kuenzel & Rishi R. Sharma, 2019. "Preferential Trade Agreements and MFN Tariffs: Global Evidence," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2019-004, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2019-004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kamal Saggi & Andrey Stoyanov & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2018. "Do Free Trade Agreements Affect Tariffs of Nonmember Countries? A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Kamal Saggi (ed.), Economic Analysis of the Rules and Regulations of the World Trade Organization, chapter 11, pages 238-280, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Tobias Ketterer & Daniel M. Bernhofen & Chris Milner, 2012. "Preferences, Rent Destruction and Multilateral Liberalisation: The Building Block Effect of CUSFTA," CESifo Working Paper Series 3985, CESifo.
    3. Joseph Mai & Andrey Stoyanov, 2015. "The effect of the Canada‐US Free Trade Agreement on Canadian multilateral trade liberalization," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(3), pages 1067-1098, August.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade Agreements; GATT/WTO; Tariffs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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