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Does trade cause growth across trading blocs?




Marturana, Michael A., author
Braunstein, Elissa, advisor
Cutler, Harvey Stephen, committee member
Davies, Stephen (Stephen P.), committee member

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Does international trade influence the growth rate of income per capita across trading blocs? Many empirical studies have been conducted to analyze the effect of international trade on economic growth. This paper investigates the growth effects from trade, on income per capita, across the four trading blocs of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the Southern Common Market from 1970 through 2004. Using an autoregressive process of one lag, the model yielded results consistent with economic theory—exports positively influence the growth rate of income per capita while imports reduce said rate. Furthermore, these variables are statistically significant at standard levels. The model also controls for membership in a particular trading bloc and finds intra-bloc economic growth rates to differ substantially. Other variable estimates from the model however, are not consistent with theory which implies some degree of model misspecification and suggests further research is needed.


Department Head: Steven Shulman.

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