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Trade Policy, Trade Costs, and Developing Country Trade

Listed author(s):
  • Hoekman , Bernard

    ()

    (The World Bank)

  • Nicita, Alessandro

    (UNCTAD)

This paper briefly reviews new indices of trade restrictiveness and trade facilitation that have been developed at the World Bank. The paper also compares the trade impact of different types of trade restrictions applied at the border with the effects of domestic policies that affect trade costs. Based on a gravity regression framework, the analysis suggests that tariffs and non-tariff measures continue to be a significant source of trade restrictiveness for low-income countries despite preferential access programs. This is because the value of trade preferences is quite limited: a new measure of the relative preference margin developed in the paper reveals that this is very low for most country-pairs. Most countries with very good (duty-free) access to a market generally have competitors that have the same degree of access. The empirical analysis suggests that measures to improve logistics performance and facilitate trade are likely to have the greatest positive effects in expanding developing country trade, increasing the trade impacts of lowering remaining border barriers by a factor of two or more.

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File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2008/12/18/000158349_20081218090306/Rendered/PDF/WPS4797.pdf
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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4797.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2008
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4797
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  1. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
  2. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "The margins of US trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33830, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Joseph Francois & Miriam Manchin, 2007. "Institutions, Infrastructure and Trade," Development Working Papers 224, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  5. Burger, M.J. & van Oort, F.G. & Linders, G.J.M., 2009. "On the Specification of the Gravity Model of Trade: Zeros, Excess Zeros and Zero-Inflated Estimation," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2009-003-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  6. Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2007. "Trade, Production, and Protection Database, 1976--2004," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 165-171.
  7. Martina Lawless, 2010. "Deconstructing gravity: trade costs and extensive and intensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1149-1172, November.
  8. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Bonus vetus OLS: A simple method for approximating international trade-cost effects using the gravity equation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 77-85, February.
  9. Baier, Scott L; Bergstrand, Jeffery H; Mariutto, Roland., 2010. "The Growth of Bilateralism," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 12, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  10. 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.
  11. Andrew Bernard & J Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2009. "The Margins of U.S. Trade (Long Version)," Working Papers 09-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Simeon Djankov & Caroline Freund & Cong S. Pham, 2010. "Trading on Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 166-173, February.
  13. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2004. "Economic determinants of free trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 29-63, October.
  14. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  15. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2006. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," CEPR Discussion Papers 5576, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Matthias Helble & Ben Shepherd & John S. Wilson, 2009. "Transparency and Regional Integration in the Asia Pacific," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 479-508, 03.
  17. Hiau Looi Kee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2008. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 666-682, November.
  18. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
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