The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper estimates a gravity model to address the issue of whether intra-Arab trade is too little. Although gravity models have been extensively used to measure bilateral trade among countries, they have—to the best of our knowledge—never been used to measure intra-Arab trade. Our results suggest that intra-Arab trade and Arab trade with the rest of the world are lower than what would be predicted by the gravity equation, suggesting considerable scope for regional—as well as multilateral—integration. The results also suggest that intra-GCC and intra-Maghreb trade are relatively low while the Mashreq countries exhibit a higher level of intragroup trade.