VoxEU Column

Learning by using free trade agreements

Free trade agreements bring questions about how long it takes for firms to acquire the knowledge needed to utilise tariff preferences, and what determines learning outcomes. This column uses Swedish import transaction-level and firm-level data for the EU–South Korea free trade agreement from 2008 to 2018 to answer these questions. The authors find that firms learn about preference utilisation mainly by carrying out repeated import transactions; the number of years as an importer does not seem to matter.