The studies of Evans (1996, 1997a,b) appear to be the most analytically ambitious attempts to address, empirically, the question of the economic desirability of a southern African free trade area (FTA). Evans (1996) is apparently the only serious study available to date which gives detailed sectoral effects of the formation of a SADC FTA for each country. It thus appears to be the only available study which quantitatively addresses the critical questions currently occupying policy-makers and researchers in the region of the potential sectoral and distributional effects of the formation of the FTA. 1 Despite the criticisms levelled at this type of impact study, some quantification of the possible effects of the FTA is undoubtedly important, in order to determine whether there is likely to be a need for compensation within the union, and whether the benefits will be large enough for those who gain to compensate those adversely affected. The results of these studies, and the method by which they were derived, therefore warrant careful consideration.