Theoretical, Analytical, and Methodological Issues on Regional Integration and Bilateral Trade in the ECOWAS Sub-Region: Evidence from Literature on the Gravity Model of Trade

Jonathan Reuben, Chukwuemeka John Arene, Noble Jackson Nweze


ECOWAS has been enforcing sub-regional integration through free international trade, common external tariff wall, consolidation or freezing of customs duties, non-tariff barriers to intra-trade and gradual phasing out of duties on industrial products from community projects over a period of 6-10 years at 10-16.6% annual rates of reduction depending on the classification of member states based on the level of development, location, and importance of customs revenue. However, comparatively few studies used the gravity model to explore empirically the determinants of intra-regional trade among countries in SSA, on one hand, and between the countries of regional groupings on the other hand. Some of the studies produced significant effects of the impact of regional groupings on bilateral trade in member countries, while others account for less. This paper tries to document theoretical, analytical, and methodological discuss on the topic in the context of augmented traditional gravity model of trade.

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