Reciprocal Trade Agreements in Gravity Models: A Meta-Analysis

18 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010

See all articles by Maria Cipollina

Maria Cipollina

Università degli Studi del Molise

Luca Salvatici

Università Roma Tre - Dipartimento di Economia

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The gravity model is a workhorse tool applicable in a wide range of empirical fields. It is regularly used to estimate the impact of reciprocal trade agreements (RTAs) on trade flows between partners. The studies report very different estimates since there is a significant difference in datasets, sample sizes, and independent variables. This paper combines, explains, and summarizes a large number of results using a meta-analysis approach. We provide pooled estimates, obtained from fixed and random effects models of the RTAs’ effect size on bilateral trade: the hypothesis that there is no effect of RTAs on trade is robustly rejected at standard significance levels. The information collected on each estimate allows us to test the sensitivity of the results to alternative specifications and differences in the control variables considered, as well as the impact of the publication selection process.

Suggested Citation

Cipollina, Maria and Salvatici, Luca, Reciprocal Trade Agreements in Gravity Models: A Meta-Analysis. Review of International Economics, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 63-80, February 2010. Available at SSRN: or

Maria Cipollina (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi del Molise ( email )

Via De Sanctis
I-86100 Campobasso, Campobasso (CB) 86100

Luca Salvatici

Università Roma Tre - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Via Ostiense, 159
Roma, RM 00145
+390657335737 (Phone)

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