The Impact of FTAs on MENA Trade in Industrial and Agricultural Products

This paper analyses the impact of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) on Middle East and North African Countries (MENA) trade for the period 1994-2010. The analysis distinguishes between industrial and agricultural trade separately to take into account the different liberalisation schedules. An augmented gravity model is estimated using up-to-date panel data techniques to control for all time-invariant bilateral factors that influence bilateral trade as well as for the so-called multilateral resistance. We also control for the endogeneity of the agreements and test for self-selection bias due to the presence of zero trade in our sample. The main findings indicate that both North-South- FTAs and South-South-FTAs have a similar impact in terms of increasing trade in MENA countries showing greater global market integration. We conclude that FTAs that include agricultural products, in which MENA countries have a clear comparative advantage, are more desirable for these countries than those only including industrial products.

Author: Maria Dolores Parra, Inmaculada Martnez-Zazoso, Celestino Surez-Burguet
Volume: 2014.03
Publisher: INFER
Year: 2014
No. of pages: 31
Category: INFER working papers

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