Does A Regional Trade Agreement Lessen or Exacerbate Growth Volatility? An Empirical Investigation

Author/Editor:

Kangni R Kpodar ; Patrick A. Imam

Publication Date:

July 28, 2015

Electronic Access:

Free Full Text. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

This paper assesses how regional trade agreements (RTAs) impact growth volatility on a worldwide sample of 170 countries with data spanning the period 1978-2012. Notwithstanding concerns that trade openness through RTAs can heighten exposure to shocks, in particular when it leads to increased product specialization, RTAs through enhanced policy credibility, improved policy coordination, and reduced risk of conflicts can ease growth volatility. Empirical estimations suggest the benefits outweigh the costs as RTAs are consistently associated with lower growth volatility, after controlling for trade openness and other determinants of growth volatility. Furthermore, regression results also suggest that countries that are more prone to shocks are more likely to join a RTA, in particular with countries with relatively less volatile growth, additionally enhancing the stabilization effect.

Series:

Working Paper No. 15/177

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

July 28, 2015

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513540443/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2015177

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

37

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