The thesis investigates new aspects of the economics of preferential trade liberalization

The first chapter develops a theoretical model to explain why supranational institutions matter for deep trade liberalization. Essentially, supranational institutions drain the incentives to lobby for Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), as illustrated by the liberalization of NTBs in the EU

The second chapter develops a simple theory model showing the implications of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) among developed nations for excluded developing nations. Testing the model using highly disaggregated trade data finds empirical evidence of trade-diversion ; North-North MRAs harm exports from developing countries

The third chapter investigates how Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) affect the range of goods exported by a country. Highly dis-aggregated data on Euro-Mediterranean trade is used to find evidence that the Euro-Mediterranean free trade agreement is expanding the range of products traded by its members