The potential of African trade integration – Panel data evidence for the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite
Jana Riedel and
The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, 2019, vol. 28, issue 7, 843-872
The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite FTA, formed in 2011, is supposed to be a milestone towards Africa's continental trade integration. This study analyzes the impact of regional integration among the Tripartite countries on their bilateral imports before that date to evaluate the latest integration efforts. We estimate an extended gravity model on a large panel of 51 African countries using yearly observations from 1995 to 2010. We proxy existing formal trade barriers by sample average tariff data on imports from the world as well as indicator variables for the membership in regional FTAs. We consider different estimation techniques and discuss distinct sets of fixed effects. The PPML regression results indicate that remaining tariffs are significantly negatively correlated with imports throughout the preferred multiplicative models. An FTA status does not show a clear-cut import enhancing effect. In the specifications that control for country-year effects, the EAC coefficient is positively correlated with imports, and the COMESA and SADC FTA membership show a positive relation to imports within some reduced-sample robustness checks.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:28:y:2019:i:7:p:843-872
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