Multi-Membership and the Effectiveness of Regional Trade Agreements in Western and Southern Africa: A Comparative Study of ECOWAS and SADC

Institute of Social Sciences Working Paper No. 520

40 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2011  

Sylvanus Afesorgbor

University of Aarhus

Peter A. G. van Bergeijk

Erasmus University - Institute of Social Studies (ISS); CERES, Research School for Resource Studies for Development

Date Written: March 11, 2011

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.

Keywords: Sub Sahara Africa, Regional Economic Integration, South-South Trade, North-South Trade Intra-regional Trade, Gravity Model, International Trade, Multi-Membership

JEL Classification: F1, F15, 018

Suggested Citation

Afesorgbor, Sylvanus and van Bergeijk, Peter A. G., Multi-Membership and the Effectiveness of Regional Trade Agreements in Western and Southern Africa: A Comparative Study of ECOWAS and SADC (March 11, 2011). Institute of Social Sciences Working Paper No. 520 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1766522 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1766522

Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor

University of Aarhus ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus C, DK-8000
Denmark

Peter A.G. Van Bergeijk (Contact Author)

Erasmus University - Institute of Social Studies (ISS) ( email )

PO Box 29776
2502 LT The Hague, 2518 AX
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.economie.blogspot.com

CERES, Research School for Resource Studies for Development

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

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