'Ukraine benefits from closer cooperation with EU'

Closer economic cooperation with the European Union has significant benefits for Ukraine. Closer ties with Europe could lead to a growth in exports of Ukraine by 98 percent, the thesis of an econometrician Irena Mikolajun shows. Closer economic cooperation is part of the much-discussed association agreement with Ukraine, which was rejected in a referendum in the Netherlands. Mikolajun defends her dissertation on Thursday, October 27th, 2016 at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Mikolajun studied for her doctoral thesis "Empirical Essays in International Economics" the growing number of free trade agreements and the increasing economic globalization. What are the effects of this trend, in the light of recent events like the global crisis, the Arab Spring and the war in Ukraine?

For her thesis she studied the 'Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA)' with - Ukraine, part of the much-discussed association treaty that was rejected in a referendum in the Netherlands in April this year. DCFTA includes closer economic cooperation with the European Union: the opening of the markets through the gradual elimination of tariffs and quotas and a far-reaching harmonization of laws and regulations. Based on various models and data flows among 159 economies, she answered the question: what can this mean for Ukraine?

Her research shows that there is no direct effect of closer cooperation with the EU, but that the establishment of a free zone does have indirect effects. Such a zone with the EU sees to improve public administration and infrastructure in Ukraine. With results: Mikolajun discovered that better governance could lead to as much as 98 percent more orders for Ukrainian exporters. Better infrastructure could create an order growth of 22 percent.

Economic integration

Mikolajun also studied the economic integration in the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. How can this be improved? Her conclusion is that the mobility of human capital is an important way to get better economic interdependence.

About Irena Mikolajun

Irena Mikolajun (1983) studied Econometrics and Statistics at Vilnius University in Lithuania and Padua University in Italy. In 2010 she started her PhD research at Erasmus School of Economics (Tinbergen Institute). Her research focuses on the empirical analysis of international trade, trade agreements trade balances, economic integration and migration. She is interested in global economic - connections, their impact on national economic indicators and - in general - in phenomena that have a direct impact on people.

More information

For more information, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communications Officer at Erasmus School of Economics: rdegroot@ese.eur.nl, mobile phone: +31 6 53641 846.