The Review of International Organizations

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 163–203 | Cite as

Multilateral determinants of regionalism revisited

  • Katerina Gradeva
  • Dany Jaimovich


The idea that some features of the multilateral trading system create incentives for countries to join preferential trade agreements (PTAs) is among the first and most influential explanations for the wave of regionalism in the last decades. Until recently, only a few empirical studies have explored this hypothesis and their results have been accepted by many researchers and policy-makers to be a fact. In this study we revisit the question of whether multilateral events are important determinants of regionalism. We use an extended dataset and implement several empirical specifications in the analysis. Unlike previous work, our results provide little support for the relevance of variables such as the number of GATT/WTO members, ongoing trade negotiation rounds, and trade disputes as predictors of PTA formation.


Free trade agreements World trade organization Regionalism 

JEL Classifications

F13 F53 



We want to thank the guest editors of this special edition, Marcelo Olarreaga and Peter Egger, as well as three anonymus referees for helpful comments and suggestions. We are grateful for comments received from Matthias Schündeln, and participants at the 6th Annual Conference on the Political Economy of International Organizations (Heidelberg and Mannheim, 2013). We also thank Sophie Kazmierczak for editorial support.

Supplementary material

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(7z 15.5 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Econometrics and International Economic PolicyGoethe UniversityFrankfurt am MainGermany

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