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  • Author: Dan Ciuriak, Maria Ptashkina
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Trade secret theft is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually. As a result, governments worldwide are developing legislation to mitigate these losses. This paper looks at the growing importance of trade secrets globally, corporations’ responsibilities to protect their trade secrets and how trade secret theft occurs (for example, through cybertheft or personnel movement between companies). The authors argue that protecting intellectual property rights must not come at the expense of the innovation-intensive economy.
  • Topic: Security, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Trade, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pascal Blickle, Angela Min Yi Hou, Laura Störi
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: This TradeLab project analyses the domestic legislation of 14 developing countries in implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The present memo summarises the main findings across the 14 Parties. This memo finds that most assessed Parties have implemented the CITES' core requirements, and recommendations provided in the resolutions of the Conference of the Parties (CoP). The project identifies a minority of three African countries for which the CITES Secretariat may wish to review their Category 1 status. These Parties fall short of all or several of the following elements: they failed to appropriately designate Management and Scientific Authorities by law, circumscribe the Authorities' tasks and responsibilities, or – by exclusively regulating native species – appear not to comprehensively cover species listed in the Convention's three Appendices.
  • Topic: Environment, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Trade, Ecology, Biology
  • Political Geography: Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Anna Liz Thomas, Jarrod Suda, Gaia Grasselli
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Since the 1990s, more free trade agreements have come to include social clauses, which make reference to domestic and international labour standards. As this international legal web continues to grow, so too will the questions and concerns from employers and businesses. This Tradelab report, for the International Organisation of Employers, provides practical guidance for those employers and businesses. It does so by taking the diverse array of actors, the tensions within, and the opportunities set forth by free trade agreements and elaborating upon them using three case studies.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Labor Issues, Free Trade, Trade, International Business, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Simon Happersberger, Eleanor Mateo, Selcukhan Ünekbas
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Fossil fuel subsidies have negative consequences on the climate change, public budgets and and the transition to an environmentally friendly economy. Nevertheless, governments do not keep up with their commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies but misallocate again COVID-19 recovery funds in fossil fuel subsidies. This article provides an analysis of the current obstacles for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and the potential of the WTO to advance a reform on fossil fuel subsidies. It argues that the WTO can contribute to a fossil fuel subsidies reform by its technical expertise in regulating subsidies, by its broad membership and by its institutional setting. Under the current framework of the ASCM, WTO member can use existing mechanisms, such as the TPRM, to increase transparency in the short term and facilitate discussions on the scope of subsidies while mitigating impacts on vulnerable groups or sectors. This would provide the ground for governments to work towards a new and ambitious agreement to stop producer fossil fuels subsidies and phase out consumer fossil fuels subsidies in the mid-to-long-term. However, the phase out of consumer subsidies needs to be carefully designed and embedded, to avoid unintended consequences on energy access and vulnerable households.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources, Trade, Fossil Fuels, COVID-19, WTO, Ecology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Vincent Stamer
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Global container ship movements may reliably predict global trade flows. Aggregating both movements at sea and port call events produces a wealth of explanatory variables. The machine learning algorithm partial least squares can map these explanatory time series to unilateral imports and exports, as well as bilateral trade flows. Applying out-of-sample and time series methods on monthly trade data of 75 countries, this paper shows that the new shipping indicator outperforms benchmark models for the vast majority of countries. This holds true for predictions for the current and subsequent month even if one limits the analysis to data during the first half of the month. This makes the indicator available at least as early as other leading indicators.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Trade, Shipping, Machine Learning
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pierre Cotterlaz, Etienne Fize
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: This paper documents the effect of information frictions on trade using a historical large-scale improvement in the transmission of news: the emergence of global news agencies. The information available to potential traders became more abundant, was delivered faster and at a cheaper price between countries covered by a news agency. Exploiting differences in the timing of telegraph openings and news agency coverage across pairs of countries, we are able to disentangle the pure effect of information from the effect of a reduction in communication costs. Panel gravity estimates reveal that bilateral trade increased by 30\% more for pairs of countries covered by a news agency and connected by a telegraph than for pairs of countries simply connected by a telegraph.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Partnerships, Media, News Analysis, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chad P. Bown, Aksel Erbahar, Maurizio Zanardi
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines how trade protection is affected by changes in the value-added content of production arising through global value chains (GVCs). Exploiting a new set of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules adopted in 1995 that impose an exogenously timed requirement for countries to reevaluate their previously imposed trade protection, the authors adopt an instrumental variables strategy and identify the causal effect of GVC integration on the likelihood that a trade barrier is removed. Using a newly constructed dataset of protection removal decisions involving 10 countries, 41 trading partners, and 18 industries over 1995–2013, they find that bilateral industry-specific domestic value-added growth in foreign production significantly raises the probability of removing a duty. The results are not limited to imports from China but are only found for the protection decisions of high-income countries. Back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that rapid GVC growth in the 2000s freed almost a third of the trade flows subject to the most common temporary restrictions (i.e., antidumping) applied by high-income countries in 2006.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Finance, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: June Park
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: June Park, political economist at the National Research Foundation of Korea, explains that “even the like-minded countries of GPAI have revealed their differences and institutional variance in deploying digital technology to fight COVID-19 at a time of grave national emergency and public health crisis.”
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Crisis Management, Trade, Artificial Intelligence, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Tom Martin
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: Spending for prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products totaled $413 billion in 2012 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) trade and transports margin data. Just over half of this spending (52%) accrued to the pharmaceutical companies that produced the medicines, while the remainder was divided between transport and wholesale margins (21%) and retail margins (26%). Compared to other research and development (R&D)-intensive manufacturing industries with significant consumer sales, the pharmaceutical and medicines manufacturing industry ranks second in terms of R&D intensity behind communications equipment, and receives the second lowest producers’ share of total spending after other miscellaneous manufacturing. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry is unique among manufacturing industries in that it devotes a large share of its revenue to R&D, despite receiving a considerably smaller share of total spending.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Trade, Transportation, Medicine , Pharmaceuticals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsay Rand, Tucker Boyce
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The rapid development of dual-use emerging technologies has magnified the importance of reconciling technological leadership, economic competitiveness, and national security objectives. While trade controls on dual-use technology transfer can promote peace and mitigate security threats, overly cumbersome policies may impose economic burdens on the private sector that threaten competitiveness and innovation. Striking a balance between these opposing agendas has become especially challenging in the context of emerging technologies that have elicited significant interest in both the military and civilian markets. The dilemma has also been complicated by the merging of economic security discourse and policy with national security. Policymaking mechanisms should be calibrated at the level of individual technologies to avoid security and/or economic consequences of under or over-regulation. This report offers policymakers data, findings, and recommendations to strengthen the effectiveness of individual policies and to work towards a comprehensive technology strategy. In order to develop trade policies that can achieve the intended security benefits without unwarranted damage to economic competitiveness and technology innovation, policymakers must recognize technology-specific development characteristics and the associated global sectoral composition – companies, universities, research institutes, and public-private collaborations - worldwide. This report applies a mapping methodology to three emerging technologies whose level of emergence and security relevance qualifies them as “chokepoint” technologies: position, navigation, and timing (PNT), quantum computing, and computer vision. Entities in each technology category were selected and analyzed using open source information in order to identify trends with respect to global dispersion, foreign involvement (including partnerships, commerce, and investment), and specific technology focus area. A second level of analysis was conducted to compare and contrast the key trends for each of the three sectors to determine how technology-specific factors impact innovation and market establishment and to illustrate the importance of technology-specific trade policies. Analysis of the data shows clear differences among the three technologies that have important implications for the desirability and feasibility of strategic trade controls:
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Innovation, Trade, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amat Adarov, Robert Stehrer
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: The paper studies the drivers of productivity at country and sectoral levels over the period 2000-2017 with the focus on the impact of capital accumulation and structure. The analysis confirms an especially important role of ICT and intangible digital capital for productivity growth, particularly in the manufacturing sectors. While backward global value chain participation and EU integration are also found to be instrumental for accelerating productivity growth, the impact of inward foreign direct investment is not robustly detected when the data is purged from the effects of special purpose entities and outlier countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, European Union, Digital Economy, Capital Flows, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Gabriel Felbermayr, Mario Larch, Erdal Yalcin, Yoto V. Yotov
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: We build on the latest developments in the structural gravity literature to quantify the partial and general equilibrium effects of GATT/WTO membership on trade and welfare. Using an extensive database covering manufacturing trade for 186 countries over the period 1980-2016, we find that the average impact of GATT/WTO membership on trade among member counties is large, positive, and significant. We contribute to the literature by estimating country-specific estimates and find them to vary widely across the countries in our sample with poorer members benefitting more. Using these estimates, we simulate the general equilibrium effects of GATT/WTO on welfare, which are sizable and heterogeneous across members, and relatively small for non-member countries. We show that countries not experiencing positive trade effects from joining GATT/WTO can still gain in terms of welfare, due to beneficial terms-of-trade effects.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Trade, WTO, GATT
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter Eppinger, Gabriel Felbermayr, Oliver Krebs, Bohdan Kukharsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: In early 2020, the disease Covid-19 caused a drastic lockdown of the Chinese economy. We use a quantitative trade model with input-output linkages to gauge the effects of this adverse supply shock in China on the global economy through international trade and global value chains (GVCs). We find moderate welfare losses in most countries outside of China, while a few countries even gain from the shock due to trade diversion. As a key methodological contribution, we quantify the role of GVCs (in contrast to final goods trade) in transmitting the shock. In a hypothetical world without GVCs, the welfare loss due to the Covid-19 shock in China is reduced by 40% in the median country. In several other countries, the effects are magnified or reversed for several countries. Had the U.S. unilaterally repatriated GVCs, the country would have incurred a substantial welfare loss while its exposure to the shock would have barely changed.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Trade, Pandemic, Global Value Chains, COVID-19, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Sebastian Horn, Carmen M. Reinhart, Christoph Trebesch
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Official (government-to-government) lending is much larger than commonly known, often surpassing total private cross-border capital flows, especially during disasters such as wars, financial crises and natural catastrophes. We assemble the first comprehensive long-run dataset of official international lending, covering 230,000 loans, grants and guarantees extended by governments, central banks, and multilateral institutions in the period 1790-2015. Historically, wars have been the main catalyst of government-to-government transfers. The scale of official credits granted in and around WW1 and WW2 was particularly large, easily surpassing the scale of total international bailout lending after the 2008 crash. During peacetime, development finance and financial crises are the main drivers of official cross-border finance, with official flows often stepping in when private flows retrench. In line with the predictions of recent theoretical contributions, we find that official lending increases with the degree of economic integration. In crises and disasters, governments help those countries to which they have greater trade and banking exposure, hoping to reduce the collateral damage to their own economies. Since the 2000s, official finance has made a sharp comeback, largely due to the rise of China as an international creditor and the return of central bank cross-border lending in times of stress, this time in the form of swap lines.
  • Topic: Debt, International Political Economy, War, History, Financial Crisis, Trade, Banking
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Heiwai Tang, Douglas Zhihua Zeng, Albert Zeufack
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between Asia’s economic engagements in Africa and individual African nations’ participation in global value chains (GVC) over the past two decades. We find that while overall exports from Africa to Asia are still highly concentrated in resource-intensive sectors, a few African countries have exploited the emerging opportunities to diversify export portfolios through exporting to Asia. Each African nation has a distinct main trade partner in Asia, in contrast to the common view that China has become the dominant trade partner of most African nations. Using a panel data set for 46 African countries over 16 years from 2000 and 2015, we find that exports to Asia are positively correlated with exports to the rest of the world, suggesting that in contrast to trade diversion, trade with Asia complements exports to other countries. Asian economic engagement in the continent is associated with countries’ exports “moving up the value chain”, as measured by the upstreamness index proposed by Antras et al. (2012). However, such process was accompanied by a reduction in the length of their production chains, implying that fewer stages and countries are now involved in the production of exported goods.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy, Natural Resources, Partnerships, Exports, Trade, Global Value Chains, Data
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Liza Archanskaia, Johannes Van Biesebroeck, Gerald Willmann
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: We illustrate a new source of comparative advantage that is generated by countries’ different ability to adjust to technological change. Our model introduces substitution of workers in codifiable (routine) tasks with more efficient machines, a process extensively documented in the labor literature, into a canonical 2 × 2 × 2 Heckscher-Ohlin model. Our key hypothesis is that labor reallocation across tasks is subject to frictions, the importance of which varies by country. The arrival of capital-augmenting innovations triggers the movement of workers out of routine tasks, and countries with low labor market frictions become relatively abundant in non-routine labor. In the new equilibrium, more flexible countries specialize in producing goods that use non-routine labor more intensively. We document empirically that the ranking of countries with respect to the routine intensity of their exports is strongly related to labor market institutions and to cultural norms that influence adjustment to technological change, such as risk aversion or long-term orientation. The explanatory power of this mechanism for trade flows is especially strong for intra-EU trade.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Innovation, Trade, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Holger Görg, Haiou Mao
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates firms’ exporting responses to BRI and considers their heterogeneity in ownership types, product types, regional origin and trade mode. This is done by analyzing firm-product-destination level customs data from 2011 to 2015 in a gravity model framework. Our empirical results show that aggregate export behavior did not change significantly after BRI. However, ownership matters when evaluating firms’ reactions. SOEs increase their total exporting and average export value (the intensive margin) to BRI countries, while private domestic firms show no reaction to BRI at any margin. Further, our results on regional heterogeneity suggests that “open through the west”, i.e., boosting the development of western regions in China, did not appear to work in the short term. Our findings show clearly the implications of BRI’s impact from a firm level perspective.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Exports, Trade, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Cécile Couharde, Carl Grekou, Valérie Mignon
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: This paper describes the new CEPII-MULTIPRIL database on Multilateral Price Levels (MPL) introduced in 2020. The MULTIPRIL database covers a wide sample of 178 countries over the 1990-2018 period, and includes relative price level series computed vis-à-vis two sets of trading partners (177 and the top 30) according to three different trade-weighting schemes. It also contains MPL-based currency misalignments series for 156 countries over the 1991-2018 period. MULTIPRIL offers the potential to improve the coverage and quality of worldwide price-competitiveness comparisons. By focusing on price level data, it usefully complements the EQCHANGE database on equilibrium exchange rates and currency misalignments derived from series in indices. Its multilateral setting provides a more comprehensive picture of relative price levels and currency misalignments compared to existing bilateral measures.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Exchange Rate Policy, Trade, Database, Price
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Douglas A. Irwin
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Do trade reforms that significantly reduce import barriers lead to faster economic growth? In the two decades since the critical survey of empirical work on this question by Francesco Rodriguez and Dani Rodrik in 2000, new research has tried to overcome the various methodological problems that have plagued previous attempts to provide a convincing answer. This paper examines three strands of recent work on this issue: cross-country regressions focusing on within-country growth, synthetic control methods on specific reform episodes, and empirical country studies looking at the channels through which lower trade barriers may increase productivity. A consistent finding is that trade reforms that significantly reduce import barriers have a positive impact on economic growth, on average, although the effect differs across countries. Overall, these research findings should temper some of the previous agnosticism about the empirical link between trade reform and economic performance.
  • Topic: Economics, Reform, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Douglas A. Irwin
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Do trade reforms that significantly reduce import barriers lead to faster economic growth? In the two decades since the critical survey of empirical work on this question by Francesco Rodriguez and Dani Rodrik in 2000, new research has tried to overcome the various methodological problems that have plagued previous attempts to provide a convincing answer. This paper examines three strands of recent work on this issue: cross-country regressions focusing on within-country growth, synthetic control methods on specific reform episodes, and empirical country studies looking at the channels through which lower trade barriers may increase productivity. A consistent finding is that trade reforms that significantly reduce import barriers have a positive impact on economic growth, on average, although the effect differs across countries. Overall, these research findings should temper some of the previous agnosticism about the empirical link between trade reform and economic performance.
  • Topic: Reform, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Margareth Sembiring
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: International garbage disputes are rare. Lately, however, the world witnesses waves of newsworthy trash saga. From the Philippines shipping containers of rubbish back to Canada, to Malaysia planning to return tons of garbage back to countries of origin, to China’s near-total ban of plastic waste import, it is hard not to wonder whether this is a real sign of rising environmentalism. Have countries begun to think that the environment is worthy of a similar priority as the economy? This Insight argues that behind the seemingly growing pro-environment attitudes, it still remains to be seen whether this trend is sustainable in the long run. Considering that the global waste trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, the balance may tip to favour the economic activities again once the dust has settled back. The paper first looks at a brief description of the global waste trade industry. It then discusses some of the contemporary development in the global waste industry particularly on the issues of waste smuggling and China’s plastic waste import ban. It describes related experiences in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Economy, Trade, Waste
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Canada, Philippines, Southeast Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Sangkyom Kim, Soon Chan Park
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Earlier works derive empirical implications that institutional quality is very influential as a source of comparative advantage in industries requiring relationship-specific investment from the supplier. However, as earlier studies focus on investigating the impact of institution on the efficiency of the producer, only the exporter’s institution is considered. In contrast, we attempt to identify the impacts of the quality of institution, of both exporters and importers, on trade costs, that are different across country-pairs. To check the problem of measuring trade costs, we use two alternative measures of trade costs, i.e. CIF/FOB ratio and the relative measure of trade costs proposed by Novy (2013). Using the Eora global supply chain database covering 187 countries for 11 primary and manufacturing industries and four years, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, we calculate a CIF/FOB ratio and the relative trade costs suggested by Novy (2013) which are used as a proxy variable for trade costs. At the country level, we find that the institutional quality of exporter and importer is negatively associated with trade costs and trade costs increase as disparity between two countries’ institutional quality increases. At the country-industry level, we find that a country-pair with better legal institution has lower trade costs in industries for which a hold-up problem is important. This result is robust to the alternative measure of trade costs suggested by Novy (2013). However, an analysis on the impact of institutional differences on trade costs yields mixed results. Therefore we do not conclude that the similarity of institutional quality between two countries is associated with lower bilateral trade costs.
  • Topic: Economic Policy, Trade, Industry
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jongduk Kim, Moonhee Cho
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: In this study, we investigate the question whether importing countries’ implementation of protective trade measures, such as antidumping duties, leads to changes in foreign direct investment from trading partners. That is, we examine the prevalence of “ADP-jumping FDI” across countries. We use more recent and organized non-tariff measure data provided by the WTO I-TIP and Ghodsi et al. (2017), which can be matched with other trade-related variables. Using econometrically sensible identification strategies, the Tobit and the Heckman two-stage selection models, we find out that ADP-jumping FDI to importing countries prevails rather consistently around the world. These results are also consistent with those using Poisson and linear fixed effects models.
  • Topic: Foreign Direct Investment, Trade, Protectionism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Lionel Fontagné, Houssein Guimbard, Gianluca Orefice
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: Trade elasticity is a crucial parameter in evaluating the welfare impacts of trade liberalization. We estimate trade elasticities at the product level (6-digit of the Harmonized System comprising more than 5,000 product categories) by exploiting the variation in bilateral applied tariffs for each product category for the universe of available country pairs. This is done by constructing a panel of bilateral applied tariffs and bilateral trade covering the period 2001 to 2016. We address potential endogeneity issues as well as heteroskedasticity and selection bias due to zero flows. The obtained trade elasticities are centered around -5. We finally highlight the differences in the gains from trade arising from considering heterogeneous rather than average trade elasticities. All product level elasticities are made publicly available for sake of scrutiny and use by other researchers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Bilateral Relations, Tariffs, Trade Liberalization, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ariell Reshef, Gianluca Santoni
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: We study the evolution of labor shares in 1995-2014 while taking into account international trade based on value added concepts. On average, the decline in labor shares (starting around 1980) accelerates in 2001-2007, after which labor shares recover somewhat. In contrast, skilled labor shares consistently increase. The acceleration in the decline in labor shares is associated with increased intensity of intermediate input exporting; this manifests in a sharp increase in the foreign component in upstreamness of industries and countries in global value chains (GVCs). China's global integration accounts for much of this. Declines in the price of investment together with capital-skill complementarity can explain both the consistent increase in skilled labor shares and the reversal of trend in overall labor shares. Compared to shares in GDP, labor shares in gross national product (GNP) are higher in countries with positive net FDI positions; the uneven spread of multinational activity contributes to greater inequality through this channel.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues, Trade, Global Value Chains, Skilled Labor
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Alex Izurieta, Pierre Kohler, Juan Pizarro
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the effects of trade and investment agreements on income distribution and government policy. The critical process underpinning these effects is the rise of ‘financialization’. Global patterns of greater financialization and of worsening functional income distribution as well as tighter fiscal stances are identified in the data. Tests are conducted by combining financial statistics with databases of bilateral investment agreements and free trade agreements, as well as data generated by the UN Global Policy Model that encompasses several fiscal policy instruments. The empirical validation of these relationships brings to the fore the policy-oriented debate about the purported benefits of modern-era ‘comprehensive’ trade and investment agreements such as TTIP, TTP and CETA. The authors corroborate the findings of their respective earlier studies of these agreements and reiterate their call for caution. To preserve policy space and to avert increases of inequality, policy-makers should resist pressures to get their economies locked in such agreements and should look instead for sustainable forms of international policy coordination.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pierre Kohler, Francis Cripps
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: This paper proposes to revisit the debate on trade and investment agreements (TIAs), development and inequality, looking at the role of Global Value Chains (GVCs) and trans- national corporations (TNCs). It first presents stylized facts about trade and investment (agreements), declining global economic growth and rising inequality under the latest round of globalization. It then provides a long-run perspective on the mixed blessings of external opening, summarizing some key contributions of the mainstream literature, which are converging with long-standing research findings of more heterodox economists, and the eroding consensus today. Based on this stock-taking, it takes a fresh critical look at the TIAs-GVCs-TNCs nexus and their impact. Using data on value-added in trade and new firm-level data from the consolidated financial statements of the top 2000 TNCs going back to 1995, it examines whether the fragmentation of production along GVCs led to positive structural change or rather stimulated unsustainable trends in extractive and FIRE sectors. It then turns to the role of TNC-driven GVCs as a vehicle for economic concentration. Finally, it presents evidence linking TIAs and their correlates to rising inequality. Key findings include the fact that the ratio of top 2000 TNCs profits over revenues increased by 58 percent between 1995 and 2015. Moreover, the rise in top 2000 TNCs profits accounts for 69 percent of the 2.5 percentage points decline in the global labour income share between 1995 and 2015, with the correlation coefficient between annual changes in both variables as high as 0.82. The paper concludes by calling for a less ideological policy debate on TIAs, which acknowledges the mixed blessings of external financial and trade opening, especially their negative distributional impact and destabilizing macro-financial feedback effects, which both call for policy intervention. As an alternative to short-sighted protectionism, it further discusses possible options for anticipating undesirable effects arising from TIAs (e.g. rising carbon emissions, economic instability, inequality, etc.) and addressing those in TIAs themselves.
  • Topic: Inequality, Investment, Trade, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dakshina G. De Silva, Soon-Cheul Lee, Robert P. McComb, Maurizio Zanardi
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine whether or not there is a spillover effect of third countries’ regional trade agreements (RTAs) on their bilateral trade relationships. To identify the RTA spillover effects, we expand a gravity model into a third-country framework using a dataset of bilateral trade and RTAs for 62 country-pairs over the period 2002-2013. We construct a weighted third-countries’ RTA contiguity matrix as well as a spatially-weighted matrix to identify both the spillover and spatial effects of RTA on trade flows. The results show that the spillover effects of RTAs on trade are positive while the spatial effects of RTA are negative and imply that third parties’ RTAs have complementary effects on bilateral trade while the existence of neighbors in the RTA between the two trade partners reduces their bilateral trade. As a result, the proliferation of RTAs expand international trade through spillover effects as well as trade creation and trade diversion.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Regional Integration, Economic Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nakgyoon Choi, Soonchan Park
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Previous studies that have identified the impacts of institutions or cultural traits on comparative advantage focused on goods trade, but not services trade. In contrast to the rapid increase in trade in services, empirical examina-tion on sources of comparative advantage in services trade remains limited. This paper attempts to fill this gap by investigating empirically the impacts of institution as well as social capital on comparative advantage in services trade. Services are exposed to relatively more pre-choice risks than goods, because it is difficult to obtain information on the quality of services before the con-sumer decides to purchase. In addition, trade in services involved in global value chains possibly takes on the risks of contract breach by other firms along the same value chains. As a result, the transaction risks for trade in ser-vices are higher than for trade in goods. Using the World Input Output Da-tabase, we estimate the importance of social capital for comparative ad-vantage in services. We find that countries with more social capital tend to specialize in the production of contract-intensive services. We also find that social capital rather than institution matters for comparative advantage in ser-vices.
  • Topic: Economic Policy, Institutions, Services, Trade, Social Capital
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Stehrer, Roman Stöllinger, Sandra Leitner
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Social and Economic Research - CASE
  • Abstract: Global trade patterns are changing rapidly. Emerging economies are increasing their share of exports overall and intensifying competition in nearly all sectors. Using a gravity-based approach, this report examines the future profile of European Union (EU) world market shares at the aggregate and sectoral level. It further points towards the changing patterns of trade within the EU. Based on the results, some conclusions on EU industrial policy are drawn.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Scott Livermore
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: This report explores how international business has changed since HSBC first opened its doors in Hong Kong over 150 years—and what may come next. The objective of this study was to examine trade patterns in order to understand the historic drivers of globalisation and to help us to discover how those drivers could shape future patterns of trade. It aims to provide practical insight and considerations for the business leaders around the world.
  • Topic: Globalization, Business , Trade, International Business
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Brahima Coulibaly, Horacio Sapriza, Andrei Zlate
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: This paper studies the role of the credit crunch in the severe contraction of economic activity during the 2008-09 global financial crisis, using firm-level data from six emerging Asian economies. After controlling for the effect of falling demand, we find that sales declined by less for firms with better pre-crisis financial conditions. Amid the decline in external financing opportunities, some firms relied more on trade credit from suppliers during the crisis, which allowed them to post relatively better sales. Export-intensive firms resorted less to trade credit as an alternative source of finance, which contributed to their larger declines in sales.
  • Topic: Finance, Global Financial Crisis, Trade, Credit
  • Political Geography: Global Focus