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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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