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RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS: WORKING PAPERS
Institutions, trade policy and trade flows

This paper analyses to which extent domestic institutions affect trade flows. We use two complementary approaches, one focusing on the size of total trade flows and one focusing on bilateral trade patterns (gravity equation). Besides, we control for two other domestic policy variables: trade policy and domestic infrastructure. We find that the quality of institutions has a positive and significant impact on a country’s level of openness. Domestic tariffs have no statistically significant impact on their own, but do affect total trade flows when combined with good institutions. Domestic institutions also have a positive and significant impact on bilateral trade flows, but the parameter of our institution variables is reduced by almost a half and may turn insignificant when the quality of domestic infrastructure is included in the regression.

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No: 
ERSD-2004-02

Authors:

Marion Jansen and Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås — WTO

Manuscript date: April 2004

  
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This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. This paper represents the opinions of individual staff members or visiting scholars, and is the product of professional research. It is not meant to represent the position or opinions of the WTO or its Members, nor the official position of any staff members. Any errors are the fault of the authors. Copies of working papers can be requested from the divisional secretariat by writing to: Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization, rue de Lausanne 154, CH-1211 Genève 21, Switzerland. Please request papers by number and title.

Download paper in Word format (255KB, 26 pages)