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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Economic Modelling, Volume 41, August 2014, Pages 33–45
This paper evaluates the impact on the Chilean economy of the EU–Chile Free Trade Agreement, in force since 2003, based on a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. The evaluation method, inspired by structural decomposition methods, consists of double calibration of the model, to account for interactions between the agreement's impact and structural change in the Chilean economy. Trade flows are modeled at the detailed product level (six-digit level classification). The agreement is found to be slightly beneficial to Chile's economy on the whole, benefiting mainly unskilled labor, with gains concentrated in few sectors (fruits, wine, fisheries and seafood processing).
The evaluation of policies is recognized as important to improve their effectiveness. In various countries, it is routinely carried out for policies linked to taxes and labor markets. In the case of trade policy, however, evaluations are less common. Several studies questioned the trade creating impact of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) (for recent reviews of this literature, see Cardamone, 2007 and Cipollina and Salvatici, 2010), but these analyses are very general and tell little about the detailed impacts of a specific agreement. Several studies focus on one single agreement, such as the Canada–US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) or North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (e.g., Clausing, 2001, Head and Ries, 1999, Romalis, 2007 and Trefler, 2004), using mostly econometric analysis focusing on a specific dimension of the agreement's impact, such as the structure of trade patterns across partners and/or sectors. Such studies fall short of addressing in a consistent and complete way questions such as: what was the agreement's impact upon the structure of output, labor market or incomes? While these questions are often dealt with in ex-ante assessments, they are seldomly subject to ex-post evaluation. In this paper, we attempt to carry out a comprehensive, ex-post evaluation of the free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and Chile, which entered into force in 2003.1 Taking an econometric analysis of the trade impact of this agreement as a starting point (Jean, 2012), we use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for this purpose. CGE models are generally used to answer counterfactual experiments, i.e. prospective, “what if” questions, whereby the impact of a hypothetical shock is evaluated ceteris paribus. A different approach is proposed here, taking advantage of information available about observed changes in tastes and technologies in Chile after the implementation of the agreement. The approach is inspired by so-called structural decomposition analyses (see for examples Abrego and Whalley, 2003, Dixon and Rimmer, 2004, Dixon and Rimmer, 2008 and Jean and Bontout, 2002), involving a double calibration of the model. This method is applied here to analyze changes between 2002 and 2008. 2 This methodology requires building two fully consistent social accounting matrices (SAMs) of the Chilean economy for 2002 and 2008. This includes sector-level data on production factors, intermediate inputs, resources and uses. In addition to national accounts data, these data were put together using the LA-KLEMS database of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) for Chile.3 The EU–Chile FTA is clearly important for Chile: the EU was the destination for almost 18% of Chile's exports in 2010, making it the second leading Chilean export market (ranking second to China), and it supplied 14% of its imports (next to China and the United States). For the EU, this agreement, together with the ones clinched with Mexico and South Africa, pioneered the development of FTAs with distant partners. In contrast to neighborhood agreements, the motivation for these distant FTAs is essentially economic. At a time when such agreements are spreading quickly, a thorough evaluation is useful. Still, for the EU, this agreement does not stand out by its trade weight, as Chile ranked only 34th among EU's trading partners in 2010, accounting for 0.6% of imports and 0.4% of exports. An agreement with such a small trading partner is unlikely to significantly alter market equilibrium relationships in the EU. This means that changes induced in incomes and prices are minor for the EU economy, except for a few products. In this context, a general equilibrium model of the EU economy would not bring much insights compared to a partial equilibrium one, whereby trade flows with Chile are modeled assuming constant output prices and demand functions. In consequence, we favor the latter modeling approach here, as the implied simplicity allows for a detailed analysis of the Chilean economy. A similar combination of CGE approach for a smaller partner and partial equilibrium modeling of trade flows with the larger partner is found in for example Harrison et al. (1997) and Rutherford et al. (1997). A specificity of the Chilean economy is that, despite a high trade-to-GDP ratio (75% in 2008), its export basket is concentrated in few products. This is especially true when it comes to trade with the EU, as illustrated below. Inspired in Gouel et al. (2011), this paper's model provides a detailed breakdown of products of common interest for Chile-EU bilateral trade, which are singled out at the six-digit level of the Harmonized System (HS6 level). Another challenge is the sensitivity of product-level trade flows to tariff cuts following the agreement. Corresponding elasticities are difficult to estimate, and may differ across sectors and countries. We rely here on econometric estimates carried out in a framework consistent with the one used here, dealing with the trade impact of the EU–Chile FTA at the product level (Jean, 2012). The EU–Chile Association Agreement includes political dialogue, cooperation and trade. The trade-related provisions include the establishment of a free-trade area in goods and services, as well as a number of important rules-related measures. Hence, this agreement goes well beyond tariff liberalization. However, a quantitative assessment such as the one carried out here needs to rely upon meaningfully quantified elements, which are lacking for most of these dimensions. Rather than relying upon arbitrary, unverifiable assumptions about the qualitative impact of the FTA, we thus focus on tariffs. This may be a narrow focus, but tariffs remain a decisively important dimension of such an agreement. The paper is structured as follows. The next section describes bilateral trade and tariff concession between the EU and Chile. The model's features and the experiment design are described in Section 3. Results of the simulation are presented in Section 4, while sensitivity analyses (elasticities and macroeconomic closure) are discussed in Section 5. Finally, we give our final remarks in the last section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper uses a CGE model to evaluate ex-post the economic impact in Chile of the tariff clauses of its FTA with the EU. The impacts of the agreement on factor prices, incomes, trade with third countries and aggregate variables, inter alia, are consistently take into account in this evaluation. The decomposition method, based on a double calibration of the model for 2002 and 2008, allows the interaction with the economy's structural change during this period to be accounted for. The trade impact of the agreement is studied accurately thanks to the modeling trade flows at a highly disaggregated product level, and to the use of trade elasticities estimated in consistent way, specifically for trade between the EU and Chile. The agreement is found to trigger an aggregate economic gain for the Chilean economy. The assessed real income gain (+ 0.23% in equivalent variation of income in the base case) is small, but it should be kept in mind that the impact measured here is limited to the direct, so-to-say “mechanical” consequences of tariff cuts in the agreement. Such a shock may also initiate a virtuous circle by allowing export sectors to gain renewed dynamism, with possible indirect effects inter alia on technology, competitive structure, information, demography of firms, or access to markets. The so-called new and “new new” theories of trade have identified a wealth of such possible effects. In addition, non-tariff aspects of the agreement are not taken into account in these simulations, by lack of tangible basis to quantify them, thus limiting the scope of this quantitative assessment. Finally, trade policy is only one element of a country's policy mix, the benefits of which are only fully felt to the extent that it is combined suitably with other policies, allowing such virtuous circles to get under way, and preventing possible undesired effects to materialize. In this context, the direction of changes and the comparisons across industries and across shocks are the most relevant results. Our simulations identify the most heavily impacted sectors. It is no surprise to find among the main winners fruit growing, wine making, fisheries and fish processing on the Chilean side, and machinery, transport equipment and the chemical industries in the EU. The product-level results show in addition how concentrated the commercial gains are for Chile, with only 30 products accounting for 80% of bilateral exports increase. These impacts must not only be compared to observed trends since the agreement enforcement; they also assess, implicitly, how trade flows between the EU and Chile might have evolved without an agreement. In the present case, the EU lost ground on the Chilean market since the agreement implementation: this is due to the declining weight of the EU in world trade, and our simulations suggest that this decline would have been far more pronounced had the FTA not been signed. In particular, the numerous FTAs enforced by Chile since then, with the United States among others, might have crowded out European exporters from the Chilean market to a significant extent. Against this background, evaluating the FTA with the EU on an ex-ante basis (with incomplete information) would have resulted in an overstatement of its trade and welfare impact. Our decomposition approach makes it possible to deliver meaningful simulation results, despite this evoluting context.