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Abstract

In addition to multilateral trade agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO), the world has seen a remarkable proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs) in the last two decades. This study investigates the impacts of these multilateral and regional trade institutions on food trade. The Gravity model of international trade is used for the empirical analysis. The model is developed in a large panel data setting and attempted to address some potential problems in the estimation including multilateral trade resistances, zero trade values and endogeneity. The results suggest that both the WTO and RTAs have delivered significant positive effects on trade, but only RTAs are found to have succeeded in increasing food trade among the members. However, although on average the WTO has negative implications on food trade, it has facilitated the developing countries more than the developed countries.

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