Natural Trading Partners? A Public Opinion Perspective on Preferential Trade Agreements

23 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2013

See all articles by Víctor Umaña

Víctor Umaña

ETH Zurich Center for Comparative and International Studies; World Trade Institute; INCAE Business School

Thomas Bernauer

ETH Zurich

Gabriele Spilker

ETH Zurich - Center for Comparative and International Studies

Date Written: December 10, 2013

Abstract

While global trade talks have been making very little progress in recent years, the number of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) has grown rapidly, and many of these institutions are reaching much deeper into the domestic political arena than traditional multilateral trade liberalization. Various macro-level theoretical arguments have sought to explain this trend. In this chapter, we examine public opinion with respect to key features of the "new regionalism". In particular, we are interested in what characteristics are making countries more (or less) attractive as preferential trading partners from the viewpoint of citizens (voters). We hypothesize that voters in democratic countries tend to favor PTAs with states that are geographically closer, culturally similar, of larger economic size, democratic, and have high environmental and labor rights standards. Using a conjoint experiment with a sample of U.S. respondents we find strong support for most of these arguments.

Keywords: Preferential Trade Agreements, Trade Liberalization, Survey Experiments, Conjoint Analysis

JEL Classification: C9, F1, P16

Suggested Citation

Umaña, Víctor and Bernauer, Thomas and Spilker, Gabriele, Natural Trading Partners? A Public Opinion Perspective on Preferential Trade Agreements (December 10, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2365728 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2365728

Víctor Umaña (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich Center for Comparative and International Studies ( email )

Haldeneggsteig 4
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

World Trade Institute ( email )

Hallerstrasse 6/8
Berne, CH-3012
Switzerland

INCAE Business School ( email )

Alajuela
Costa Rica

Thomas Bernauer

ETH Zurich ( email )

Center for Comparative and International Studies
Building IFW, office 45.1, Haldeneggsteig 4
Zurich 8092, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 6466 (Phone)
+41 44 632 1289 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ib.ethz.ch

Gabriele Spilker

ETH Zurich - Center for Comparative and International Studies ( email )

Haldeneggsteig 4
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

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