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Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of regional linkages (i.e. regional trading agreements) and historical linkages (i.e. neo-colonial trade ties) on trade pattern in the Western Hemisphere using the gravity model of international trade. The estimation is made at the aggregate trade level as well as on the disaggregated level by using trade data corresponding to food products and manufactured goods respectively. The evidence suggests that significant distortions of trade patterns due to regional and historical linkages exist. It seems that smaller economies are more receptive to the effects of regionalism than larger ones and that the food sector is more affected by distortions than the manufactured goods sector.

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