This paper carries out an empirical assessment of the effects of a set of policy determinants of Vietnam?s exports to its five major Asia Pacific trade partners (China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and US) over 23 years from 1989 to 2011. In doing so, a gravity model is employed, which includes two sets of variables: one for gravity variables, and the other for policy-related variables. The latter includes four policy variables: real exchange rate, trade liberalization, anti-corruption activity, and WTO membership status. The effects of real exchange rate and anti-corruption activity are each specified as a linear function of the degree of trade liberalization to capture the indirect effects of trade liberalization on Vietnam?s exports over time. The effect of trade liberalization on Vietnam?s exports is specified as linear dependent on its WTO membership status to capture its direct effect and the additional effect attributable to Vietnam?s accession to WTO on its exports. We find that Vietnam?s trade liberalization has direct and indirect positive impacts on its trades, and its accession to WTO has a positive effect as well, contrary to some criticism otherwise.
Economic Integration; Trade Liberalization; Exchange Rate; Anti-Corruption Activity.