Essays on trade preferences of the USA and exports of developing countries

Cooke, Edgar F A (2014) Essays on trade preferences of the USA and exports of developing countries. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Caribbean Basin Trade Protection
Act (CBTPA) of the USA are trade preference programmes offering reduced tariffs to African
countries. We investigate the impact of the preferences on the exports of the recipients in this
thesis. Using annual data on mirror exports, macroeconomic, social, cultural and religious variables,
we evaluate the impact of the preferences in three different ways—(1) difference-in-differences,
(2) quantile and (3) matching estimators. As part of our review of the empirical evidence, we
conduct a meta-analysis to summarise the quantitative AGOA literature. This is augmented with a
meta-regression to investigate the presence of publication bias. In chapter 3, the first of the three
empirical chapters, the question asked is, “has there been an observed increase in the exports of
AGOA and CBTPA recipients to the USA compared to their exports to the rest of the world?”
The identification of the impact consists of modelling the selection in exporting that occurs and
accounting for the zero trade occurring at the HS-6 digit level of disaggregation. One result is that,
the impact of the preference varies with the level of product aggregation.

The two remaining chapters focus on the AGOA preference and is identified due to the exogenous
provision of the preference. Chapter 4 adopts a matching approach while chapter 5 is based
on a quantile regression. The matching estimates providing the mean impacts are negative for
exports to the USA compared to the counter-factual. In Chapter 5, we show that, the impact of
the preference on the recipients is unequal—oil exporters are the largest gainers. We decompose
the impact by using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition found in Machado and Mata (2005) for
quantile regressions. We find that, the gains to AGOA recipients are confined to the top half of the
export distribution—implying that the gains from AGOA are unequal and thus heterogeneous in
their impact on the recipients.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF1701 Tariff. Free trade. Protectionism
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2015 15:40
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2015 15:40

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