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Regional Trade Agreements:: Do Trade Patterns Matter for Growth?

Regional Trade Agreements:: Do Trade Patterns Matter for Growth?

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It is widely held that trade positively affects the growth of nations. Several institutions exist to deal with trade between nations. Of such institutions, regional trade agreements (RTAs) have witnessed the most dramatic increase since the early 1990s. Governments have been relentless in entering into RTAs; some belong to two or more. The amount of resources spent creating and managing these RTAs is substantial, which begs the question: a??Do the benefits of intraregional trade justify its preferential advancement over extra-regional trade?a?? This book attempts to shed light on this question. Rather than a general analysis of the pros and cons of RTAs, an approach most prevalent in literature, this book looks at the economic argument of favoring intraregional trade in RTAs. It analyzes the impact on growth of the two trade patterns using a fixed effects regression model, which treats the sample countries as a group, while recognizing the unobserved time invariant factors in each country that may influence growth. The analysis should help shed light on the efficacy of advancing RTAs and should be useful to students of trade and growth, policy analysts and policy makers.