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Impact of the institutional quality on NAFTA's international trade: a system GMM approach

Yoon Heo (Graduate School of International Studies, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea)
Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen (TNU-University of Economics and Business Administration, Thai Nguyen University, Thai Nguyen City, Vietnam)
Nguyen Khanh Doanh (International School, Thai Nguyen University, Thai Nguyen City, Vietnam)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 21 July 2020

Issue publication date: 9 April 2021

259

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the impacts of institutional quality on trade flows of NAFTA with a panel data set of 105 countries spanning the period 2006–2017.

Design/methodology/approach

We applied the system generalized method of moment (GMM) estimator to investigate the impacts.

Findings

The results show that institutional quality is a positive and significant determinant of international trade flows of the NAFTA bloc and its trading partners. Our results also indicate that the impact of institutional quality depends on the level of economic development of NAFTA's trading partners. Specifically, the trade elasticity of institutional quality is the highest for NAFTA’s trade with middle-income countries and the lowest for NAFTA's trade with low-income countries. In the long run, the trade elasticity of institutional quality increased significantly, with the highest increase in the case of NAFTA's trade with medium-income countries and the lowest increase in the case of NAFTA's trade with low-income countries.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing literature in three different ways. First, we examine the differential impact of institutions on NAFTA's trade according to the level of economic development of NAFTA's trading partners. Second, we compare the differential trade elasticity of institutional quality in the long run. Finally, we support our findings through an improved research methodology by using the system GMM estimation. This method allows us to overcome the potential sample bias, omitted variable problems and endogeneity of explanatory variables.

Keywords

Citation

Heo, Y., Thanh Huyen, N.T. and Doanh, N.K. (2021), "Impact of the institutional quality on NAFTA's international trade: a system GMM approach", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 537-556. https://doi.org/10.1108/JES-09-2019-0435

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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