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Abstract

This thesis consists of three essays in international trade. Each essay examines the impact of economic integration agreements (EIAs) on economic outcomes in terms of bilateral exports and firm performance. The first essay is on the heterogeneous effects of trade agreements. It asks whether EIAs boost trade as much between distant countries as they do neighbors, and if not why? It finds that the returns to EIAs are largest among proximate countries, and that this works through the channel of intermediate goods in particular. The second essay is on the content of trade agreements. It asks which non-tariff EIA provisions contribute the most to expansions in bilateral exports. It finds that deep provisions on services, investment, and competition contribute the most to expansions in bilateral trade at aggregate and sector levels, for both gross and value added trade, and concludes with an exercise which examines the hypothetical effect of the UK entering into a deep agreement with its largest trading partners. The third essay is on the duration of export relationships. It asks whether EIAs impact the length of export relationships in the UK at the granular firm-product-destination level. It finds this to be true, with the average boost to duration being largest for firms in the middle to upper-middle of the firm size distribution.

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