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Export performance and trade facilitation reform : hard and soft infrastructure

  • Portugal-Perez, Alberto
  • Wilson, John S.

The authors estimate the impact of aggregate indicators of"soft"and"hard"infrastructure on the export performance of developing countries. They build four new indicators for 101 countries over the period 2004-07. Estimates show that trade facilitation reforms do improve the export performance of developing countries. This is particularly true with investment in physical infrastructure and regulatory reform to improve the business environment. Moreover, the findings provide evidence that the marginal effect of infrastructure improvement on exports appears to be decreasing in per capita income. In contrast, the impact of information and communications technology on exports appears increasingly important for richer countries. Drawing on estimates, the authors compute illustrative exports growth for developing countries and ad-valorem equivalents of improving each indicator halfway to the level of the top performer in the region. As an example, improving the quality of physical infrastructure so that Egypt's indicator increases half-way to the level of Tunisia would increase exports by 10.8 percent. This is equivalent to a 7.4 percent cut in tariffs faced by Egyptian exporters across importing markets.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5261.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5261
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  1. J.C.M. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2011. "poisson: Some convergence issues," Economics Discussion Papers 695, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  4. John S. Wilson & Catherine L. Mann & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2003. "Trade Facilitation and Economic Development: A New Approach to Quantifying the Impact," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 367-389, December.
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  6. 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.
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  8. Helble, Matthias & Mann, Catherine & Wilson, John S., 2009. "Aid for trade facilitation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5064, The World Bank.
  9. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  10. Ximena Clark & David Dollar & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Port Efficiency, Maritime Transport Costs and Bilateral Trade," NBER Working Papers 10353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 593, Boston College Department of Economics.
  12. John S. Wilson & Catherine L. Mann & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2005. "Assessing the Benefits of Trade Facilitation: A Global Perspective," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(6), pages 841-871, 06.
  13. Esteban Ferro & Alberto Portugal-Perez & John S. Wilson, 2014. "Aid to the Services Sector: Does it Affect Manufacturing Exports?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 530-541, 04.
  14. Djankov, Simeon & Freund, Caroline & Pham, Cong S., 2006. "Trading on time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3909, The World Bank.
  15. Alberto Behar & Benjamin D. Nelson, 2009. "Exports and Logistics," Economics Series Working Papers 439, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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