Title page for ETD etd-04192006-102931

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hilbun, Brian Matthew
Author's Email Address bhilbu1@lsu.edu
URN etd-04192006-102931
Title Analysis of Trade in the Western Hemisphere Utilizing a Gravity Model Framework
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
P. Lynn Kennedy Committee Chair
Gail L. Cramer Committee Member
Michael E. Salassi Committee Member
  • trade creation
  • regional trade agreements (rtas)
  • trade diversion
Date of Defense 2006-03-31
Availability unrestricted
With the recent proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) the tendency world-wide has been seemingly toward trade liberalization. This thesis is primarily concerned with the impacts RTAs have had in the Western Hemisphere regarding agricultural trade flows. Utilizing the framework of the Gravity Model, agricultural trade flows for 24 Western Hemisphere Nations were examined. In the course of the study it was expected that if RTAs were to have an effect it would be a positive Trade Creation Effect and a negative Trade Diversion Effect with positive effects for GDP of importer/exporter and population size of importer/exporter and a negative effect for that of distance. Of the five agreements examined (NAFTA, AC, MERCO, LAIA, and CACM), NAFTA and LAIA were the only positive (but non-significant) as to Trade Creation effects while AC, MERCO, and CACM were all negative (but non-significant). It was also interesting to note that of the agreements, NAFTA, had both a positive and significant (p=0.023) diversionary effect with the remaining agreements all being negative (as expected) and significant regarding trade diversion. It was also concluded that GDP (importer) and distance also had the expected signs (+, respectively) with distance also being significant (p=0.0001). It was concluded that RTAs had a more pronounced effect on inter-industry trade versus intra-industry trade and that with the passage of more time, further analysis may substantiate the claim of a positive RTA effect on agricultural bilateral trade flows.
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