Did the Customs Union of the East African Community Increase Overall Trade of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda?
We investigate the effect of the customs union of the East African Community (EAC) on overall trade per capita for its founding members Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda employing a synthetic control group as a counterfactual parameter. We do not find any systematic evidence that the customs union affected overall trade per capita for the founding members. Robustness and placebo tests support our main empirical findings. We briefly discuss potential reasons why the EAC
customs union may not have contributed to increasing overall trade for its founding members and stress that further evidence is required to draw definitive policy conclusions.
Key words: East African Community, customs union, regional trade, trade growth, synthetic control method
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