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Transparency, trade costs, and regional integration in the Asia Pacific

  • Helble, Matthias
  • Shepherd, Ben
  • Wilson, John S.

The authors show in this paper that increasing the transparency of the trading environment can be an important complement to traditional liberalization of tariff and non-tariff barriers. Our definition of transparency is grounded in a transaction cost analysis. The authors focus on two dimensions of transparency: predictability (reducing the cost of uncertainty) and simplification (reducing information costs). Using the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies as a case study, the authors construct indices of importer and exporter transparency for the region from a wide range of sources. Our results from a gravity model suggest that improving trade-related transparency in APEC could hold significant benefits by raising intra-APEC trade by proximately USD 148 billion or 7.5 pecent of baseline trade in the region.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4401.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4401
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  1. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  15. Freund, Caroline L. & Weinhold, Diana, 2004. "The effect of the Internet on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 171-189, January.
  16. Wolfe, Robert, 2003. "Regulatory transparency, developing countries and the WTO," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 157-182, July.
  17. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, S.J., 1999. "Insecurity and the Pattern of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 418, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 03 Aug 2000.
  18. Ray Fisman & Roberta Gatti, 2006. "Bargaining for Bribes: The Role of Institutions," Chapters, in: International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, chapter 4 Edward Elgar.
  19. Javorcik, Beata S. & Narciso, Gaia, 2007. "Differentiated products and evasion of import tariffs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4123, The World Bank.
  20. Roberta Gatti, 2004. "Explaining corruption: are open countries less corrupt?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 851-861.
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