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North-South preferential trade agreements, trade, and armed conflict

Tina M Zappile, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Do North-South preferential trade agreements (PTAs) hold promise for the expectation that increased economic interdependence contributes to more global peace? Contributing to the commercial institutional peace research, this dissertation calls into question the practice of treating North-South PTAs as similar to other agreements in assessing their effect on the relationship between trade and interstate armed conflict. The African Growth and Opportunity Act is used to develop and illustrate the following argument behind the contention that North-South nonreciprocal trade agreements are not expected to have a peaceful effect on their members. This type of trade agreement is unlikely to increase volumes of trade among its members, trade preferences incorporated in the agreement are often underutilized by less developed country members, providing few benefits to producers from less developed country member, these agreements do little to promise future expectations of gains from cooperation, and they have been recently used as political tools by developed country members. Results across two large-N logit models of dyadic data for years 1950-1985 and 1950-1999 suggest there is a significant difference between the effects of North-South PTAs versus other types of agreements on interstate armed conflict. In addition, North-South PTAs are found to have a null effect on interstate armed conflict, contrary to expectations put forth in the mainstream literature. Furthermore, membership in other types of trade agreements is found to have a positive effect on the probability of armed conflict, questioning the premise in the literature that preferential trade agreements pave the way for more peace.^

Subject Area

Political Science, International Relations|Political Science, General

Recommended Citation

Zappile, Tina M, "North-South preferential trade agreements, trade, and armed conflict" (2011). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3444289.