Friday, December 5, 2014

Multilateral determinants of regionalism revisited

As the end of the year is approaching, a little summary of my research work of 2014.

In June, with Katerina Gradeva we published our "revisit" of the almost classic paper "Multilateral determinants of regionalism" (Mansfield and Reinhardt, 2003), and we found little support for the original results:

The idea that some features of the multilateral trading system create incentives for countries to join preferential trade agreements (PTAs) is among the first and most influential explanations for the wave of regionalism in the last decades. Until recently, only a few empirical studies have explored this hypothesis and their results have been accepted by many researchers and policy-makers to be a fact. In this study we revisit the question of whether multilateral events are important determinants of regionalism. We use an extended dataset and implement several empirical specifications in the analysis. Unlike previous work, our results provide little support for the relevance of variables such as the number of GATT/WTO members, ongoing trade negotiation rounds, and trade disputes as predictors of PTA formation.

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