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Latin American Agri-Food Exports, 1994–2019: A Gravity Model Approach

María-Isabel Ayuda (), Ignacio Belloc and Vicente Pinilla

Mathematics, 2022, vol. 10, issue 3, 1-0

Abstract: This study analyses the causes of the strong growth in the agri-food exports of Latin America between 1994 and 2019. To do this, a series of gravity models are estimated, using as a dependent variable the agri-food exports of 15 Latin American countries to their 185 principal trading partners. The empirical specification is based on the gravity theory of trade, according to which, trade between two countries is determined by the size of both of their markets and their transport costs. Other variables have also been included, considering the theoretical foundations proposed for the gravity model. We initially used the PPML estimator since it is the method that provides estimates with the best properties. We later compared these results with those obtained through OLS and the Heckman selection model. Our findings show that the growth in agri-food exports is explained by factors of both supply and demand, but that the latter plays a more important role since we have obtained evidence of a reverse home-market effect. Furthermore, we can conclude that the creation of regional trade agreements, such as NAFTA, MERCOSUR, CACM, APEC, and TPP, has significantly favoured agri-food exports in the region.

Keywords: Latin American agri-food trade; Latin American economy; economic integration; gravity model; PPML estimation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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