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Why Trade Costs Matter?


  • Prabir De

    () (Research and Information System Developing Countries)


Trade costs are often cited as an important determinant of the volume of trade. A growing literature has documented the negative impact of trade costs on the volume of trade. Most of these studies show that integration is the resultant of reduced costs of transportation in particular and other infrastructure services in general. Direct evidence on border costs shows that tariff barriers are now low in most countries across the world. Poor institutions and poor infrastructure penalize trade, differentially across countries. Therefore, today’s trade strategy goes beyond the traditional mechanisms of tariffs and quotas and includes “behind-the-border” issues, such as the role of infrastructure and governance in supporting a well-functioning trading economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Prabir De, 2006. "Why Trade Costs Matter?," Working Papers 706, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
  • Handle: RePEc:esc:wpaper:706

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nordås, Hildegunn Kyvik & Piermartini, Roberta, 2004. "Infrastructure and trade," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2004-04, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    2. Alan Deardorff, 1998. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Chapters,in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 7-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-153, February.
    4. Bougheas, Spiros & Demetriades, Panicos O. & Morgenroth, Edgar L. W., 1999. "Infrastructure, transport costs and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 169-189, February.
    5. Limao, Nuno & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Infrastructure, geographical disadvantage, and transport costs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2257, The World Bank.
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    More about this item


    Trade Costs; Trade Facilitation;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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