The breadth of preferential trade agreements and the margins of exports

R. Falvey, N. Foster-McGregor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


The paper uses recently available data on the core economic provisions of PTAs to identify which (types of) provisions seem to promote bilateral exports and the intensive and extensive margins of exports. Our evidence suggests that measures applied at the border on a preferential basis tend to expand existing trade relationships rather than generate new trade relationships, while measures applied behind the border do the opposite. The effects of measures applied on an MFN basis depend on the threshold used to define the intensive margin. Individual provisions fall into two categories, those that have consistent effects across both margins regardless of the threshold, and those that can have opposing effects on the two margins depending on the threshold. The study finds evidence that PTA effects strengthen through time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-251
Number of pages71
JournalReview of World Economics
Issue number1
Early online date16 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

JEL classifications

  • o24 - "Development Planning and Policy: Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy"
  • f53 - "International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations"


  • Gravity equation
  • PTA breadth
  • Trade margins

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