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Trade effects of customs reform : evidence from Albania

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  • Fernandes,Ana Margarida
  • Hillberry,Russell Henry
  • Mendoza Alcantara,Alejandra
  • Fernandes,Ana Margarida
  • Hillberry,Russell Henry
  • Mendoza Alcantara,Alejandra

Abstract

Despite enormous academic interest in international trade costs and keen policy interest in efforts to mitigate them, so far there is very little hard evidence on the impacts of trade facilitation efforts. This paper exploits a dramatic reduction in the rate of physical inspections by Albanian customs to estimate the effects of fewer inspection-related delays on the level and composition of imports. In this setting, the paper finds evidence that the expected median number of days spent in Albanian customs falls by 7 percent when the probability that a shipment is inspected falls from 50 percent or more to under 50 percent. In turn, this reduction in time produces a 7 percent increase in import value. The paper finds evidence that the reforms favored imports from preferential trading partners, especially the European Union. There are also reform-induced changes in the composition of trade, including increases in average quantities and unit prices, the number of shipments, and the number of importing firms per product-country pair and the number of countries per firm-product pair. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the estimate of 7 percent import growth along an intensive margin is roughly consistent with a 0.36 percentage point reduction in average tariff equivalent trade costs. Applying this figure to the value of Albania's non-oil imports produces a reform-induced trade cost savings estimate of approximately US$12 million in 2012.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernandes,Ana Margarida & Hillberry,Russell Henry & Mendoza Alcantara,Alejandra & Fernandes,Ana Margarida & Hillberry,Russell Henry & Mendoza Alcantara,Alejandra, 2015. "Trade effects of customs reform : evidence from Albania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7210, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7210
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marijke J.D. Bos & Gonzague Vannoorenberghe, 2019. "Imported input varieties and product innovation: Evidence from five developing countries," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 520-548, May.
    2. Lionel Fontagné & Gianluca Orefice & Roberta Piermartini, 2020. "Making small firms happy? The heterogeneous effect of trade facilitation measures," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 565-598, August.
    3. Carballo, Jerónimo & Schaur, Georg & Graziano, Alejandro & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2016. "Transit Trade," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7688, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Joël CARIOLLE & Cyril CHALENDARD & Anne-Marie GEOURJON & Bertrand LAPORTE, 2017. "Going beyond analysis of internal data to support customs modernization: a case study in Gabon," Working Papers P173, FERDI.
    5. Jerónimo Carballo & Georg Schaur & Alejandro Graziano & Christian Volpe Martincus, 2016. "Transit Trade," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 94658, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. Joel CARIOLLE & Cyril CHALENDARD & Anne-Marie GEOURJON & Bertrand LAPORTE, 2016. "Décloisonner l’analyse des données pour appuyer la modernisation des douanes : une illustration à partir du Gabon," Working Papers 201618, CERDI.
    7. Christian Volpe Martincus, 2016. "Out of the Border Labyrinth: An Assessment of Trade Facilitation Initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 96856, February.
    8. Jerónimo Carballo & Georg Schaur & Christian Volpe Martincus, 2018. "Transportation and trade interactions: a trade facilitation perspective," Chapters, in: Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley W. Wilson (ed.), Handbook of International Trade and Transportation, chapter 14, pages 422-450, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Jerónimo Carballo & Georg Schaur & Christian Volpe Martincus, 2017. "Transportation and Trade Interactions: A Trade Facilitation Perspective," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 97957, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Ito, Keiko & Fukao, Kyoji & Ivan, Deseatnicov, 2022. "The impact of the U.S.-China conflict and the strengthening of export controls on Japanese exports," IDE Discussion Papers 852, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    11. Hendy, Rana & Zaki, Chahir, 2021. "Trade facilitation and firms exports: Evidence from customs data," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 197-209.
    12. Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2016. "Out of the Border Labyrinth: An Assessment of Trade Facilitation Initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 7994.
    13. Li, Wenchao, 2019. "Time barrier to export for OECD countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 106-112.
    14. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Keola, Souknilanh & Urata, Shujiro, 2022. "Using truck probe data to measure border clearance time: evidence from thailand," IDE Discussion Papers 846, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

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    Keywords

    International Trade and Trade Rules; Trade Facilitation; Rules of Origin; Trade Policy; Trade and Multilateral Issues; Trade and Services;
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