Multi-membership and the effectiveness of regional trade agreements in Western and Southern Africa. A comparative study of ECOWAS and SADC

SK Afesorgbor, Peter van Bergeijk

Research output: Working paperAcademic

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers series. General series
Volume520

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