Afesorgbor, Sylvanus Kwaku van Bergeijk, Peter A.G.
Year of Publication:
Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 1
Using a gravity model for 35 countries and the years 1995-2006 we estimate the impact of regional trade agreements in Africa (in particular ECOWAS and SADC) and compare this to the a benchmark of North South trade integration (Europe's preferential trade agreement). We find that - ECOWAS and SADC membership significantly increases bilateral trade flows (and by more than for example preferential trade agreements with the EU do), - SADC membership has a stronger impact compared to ECOWAS and - that the impact of multi-membership critically depends on the characteristics of the overlapping RTA We find a positive impact if an additional membership complements the integration process of the original RTA: overlapping memberships had a significant positive effect on bilateral trade within the ECOWAS bloc but it is insignificant for SADC.
Sub Sahara Africa regional economic integration South-South trade North-South trade intra-regional trade gravity model international trade multi-membership