NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Preferential Trade Agreements

Nuno Limão

NBER Working Paper No. 22138
Issued in March 2016
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment

A large and growing number of countries participate in multiple preferential trade agreements (PTAs), which increasingly entail broad cooperation over policies extending far beyond trade barriers. I review the traditional and non-traditional motives for PTAs and their empirical determinants as well as their impacts on trade and on multilateral liberalization. I argue that the broad nature of modern PTAs, their substantial creation of bilateral trade and their modest effects on members’ tariffs, require us to augment the economic and policy structure of traditional models of PTAs as a static preferential tariff reduction. Throughout I draw lessons from the existing literature and point towards many interesting paths for future research, to advance our understanding of the causes of modern PTAs and their impacts on trade related outcomes and beyond.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22138

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