Three Essays on International Trade
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
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Chapter 1 investigates how tetracycline affects beef trade survival. We use United Nations Commodities Trade Statistics (UNComtrade): Harmonized System (HS) 020130 six-digit level of beef trade includes bovine cuts boneless, fresh or chilled, for 43 countries. From these data, we observed 7546 trade spells. The econometric model consists of Cox proportional hazard function with the classical variables included in the gravity model and other covariates that incorporate Bao and Chen (2013) model specification. The results suggest that, ceteris paribus, stricter tetracycline standards decrease beef trade duration. We suggest using the discrete choice version of the survival analysis model and accounting for missing values and trade values threshold for further studies. In chapter 2, we use variants of the gravity model to assess the impact of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) on Trade. We investigate the effect of RTAs on developing countries trade and we contrast it with that of developed countries. We also investigate how RTAs affect trade, for agricultural products. We find that RTAs increase trade volume in US dollars among 110 countries. When trade partners are developing countries, it does not have any effect on trade value. The interaction of variables for developing country and RTAs has no effect on trade value. Trading agricultural products has no effect on trade value. Finally, the interaction between corruption index and RTA has a negative effect on trade. This paper sheds light on the disparities that may exist in the impact of RTAs on trade when trade partners are developing countries and commodities are agricultural products. Chapter 3 focuses on assessing the determinants of the composition of intra-African trade. The objective is to test the significance of the variables used in the gravity model, as well as other variables of interest and see if they affect the likelihood of intra-African trade for several types of products over non-manufactured agricultural products made in Africa. Confirming previous literature, we find that, transportation/communication infrastructure and economic management have a positive on the likelihood of intra-African trade for products made outside Africa over NMAP from Africa. Opposite results were found for the presence of political tension. Finally, our results suggest that distance, exporting country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as wells as importing country GDP are relevant in explaining the likelihood of intra-African trade for several types of products over NMAP from Africa, with the usual signs obtained in the gravity model. However, common language and Regional Trade Agreements were found not to affect the likelihood of intra-African trade for other types of products over NMAP from Africa. Additional analyses using gravity model on eight categories of product suggest that the presence of political tensions in both importing and exporting countries have negative impact on infra-African trade. Improving economic management transportation and communication infrastructure in both importing and exporting countries. All the other variables of the gravity model have the expected sign.