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Trade creation and diversion effects in the Mediterranean area: Econometric analysis by gravity model

Bassem Kahouli and Samir Maktouf ()

The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, 2015, vol. 24, issue 1, 76-104

Abstract: Since the early 1990s, the world has seen a proliferation of free trade agreements (FTAs). A major goal of free trade is to develop trade between its signatories. The gravity model is used to analyze the bilateral trade data against the variables of the relative size of the pair of countries involved in trade, distance, common border and language and dummies for each of the FTAs. This article focuses on the studying of the influence of the FTAs in the Mediterranean countries in which we integrate the role of the regional dummy EU-15, Economic and Monetary Union (eurozone), the Arab Maghreb Union and AGADIR Agreement (FTA between Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco) in trade flows. In addition, this work aims to detect the impact of the global financial crisis on export flows between the FTAs in the Mediterranean region. The use of regional variables in gravity models designed to determine whether the FTAs contribute to the creation or trade diversion. This study examines a cross section and panel (static and dynamic) of 27 countries for 1980-2011. The results show the existence of a strong relationship between the factors of FTAs and trade flows.

Date: 2015
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