Open Economies Review

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 711–729

How Much Do Free Trade Agreements Reduce Impediments to Trade?

Research Article


This paper empirically investigates how far free trade agreements (FTAs) successfully lower tariff rates and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) for manufacturing industries by employing the bilateral tariff and NTB data in time series for countries in the world. We find that FTAs under GATT Article XXIV and the Enabling Clause are associated with the 2.0 and 1.5 % lower tariff rates, respectively. In the case of NTBs, on the other hand, their respective effects are 2.1 and 2.4 %. Also, compared with these effects of FTAs, WTO membership does not have large effects on tariff rates but does have them on NTBs. These results provide important implication for the literature on the numerical assessment of FTAs.


Tariff rates Non-tariff barriers Free Trade Agreement World Trade Organization Simulation 

JEL Classification

F10 F13 F15 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bangkok Research Center, Institute of Developing EconomiesPathumwanThailand
  2. 2.Faculty of EconomicsKeio UniversityMinato-kuJapan

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