Deep Trade Agreements and Heterogeneous Firms Exports (English)
17 January 2023
This paper studies the effect of regional trade agreements on firms' exports. Using detailed information on the content of trade agreements and firm-level exports for 31 developing countries between 2000 and 2020, the analysis shows that the depth of trade agreements matters for the export performance of firms. Moving from shallow to deep trade agreements boosts firms' exports, on average, by 3.6 percent. In line with models of trade with heterogeneous firms, the trade impact of deep trade agreements depends on firm's characteristics. The impact is stronger for large firms and firms involved in global value chains and is negative for small firms. Robustness tests and an Instrumental Variable strategy confirm the causal interpretation of the results. These heterogeneous impacts on firms' exports imply a selection effect of deep trade agreements with significant welfare consequences.