nep-int New Economics Papers
on International Trade
Issue of 2009‒01‒10
eight papers chosen by
Alessia A. Amighini
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Does Trade Facilitation Matter in Bilateral Trade ? By Chahir Zaki
  2. Global Production and Trade in the Knowledge Economy By Wolfgang Keller; Stephen R. Yeaple
  3. New Evidence on the Formation of Trade Policy Preferences By Bruce Blonigen
  4. The effects of alternative free trade agreements on Peru: Evidence from a global computable general equilibrium model By Bouet, Antoine; Mevel, Simon; Thomas, Marcelle
  5. The potential cost of a failed Doha Round: By Bouet, Antoine; Laborde, David
  6. STRUCTURE AND CONDUCT OF THE WORLD RICE MARKET By Kang, Hyunsoo; Kennedy, P. Lynn; Hilbun, Brian
  8. Trade and the Environment By Lopez, Ramon; Islam, Asif

  1. By: Chahir Zaki (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper estimates an augmented gravity model incorporating different aspects of Trade Facilitation in develop and developing countries. Trade Facilitation is defined as measures that aim at making international trade easier by eliminating administrative delays, simplifying commercial procedures, increasing transparency, security and the place of new technologies in trade. This paper provides new theoretical and empirical enhancements. On the one hand, the model is based on theoretical foundations related to monopolistic competition and border effects. The orginality of this paper is that Trade Facilitation facets are included in the model. On the other hand, the empirical achievement of the paper is that it uses different databases allowing us to take into account many features of Trade Facilitation. I use several databases coming from different sources : Doing business (World Bank) and Institutional Profiles (CEPII). My main findings show that transaction time for imports and number of documents for exports have a negative impact on trade. Our sample is split into sub-samples in order to take into account the impact of development level. It turns out that Trade Facilitation aspects have not the same impact on developed and developing countries. Finally, we conclude that some perishable (food and beverages), seasonal (wearing apparels) and high-value added products are more sensitive to import time than other products. Hard industries are rather sensitive to export documents.
    Keywords: Trade facilitation, gravity models, border effects.
    Date: 2008–11
  2. By: Wolfgang Keller; Stephen R. Yeaple
    Abstract: This paper presents and tests a new model of multinational firms to explain a rich array of multinational behavior. In contrast to most approaches, here the multinational faces costs to transferring its know-how that are increasing in technological complexity. Costly technology transfer gives rise to increasing marginal costs of serving foreign markets, which explains why multinational firms are often much more successful in their home market compared to foreign markets. The model has several key predictions. First, as transport costs between multinational parent and affiliate increase, firms with complex production technologies find it relatively difficult to substitute local production for imports from the parent, because complex technologies are relatively costly to transfer. Second, the activity of affiliates with complex technologies declines relatively strongly as transport costs from the home market increase, both at the intensive and the extensive margin. We also show that as transport costs from the home market increase, affiliates concentrate their imports from the parent on intermediates that are technologically more complex. We test these hypotheses by employing information on the activities of individual multinational firms, on the nature of intra-firm trade at the product level, and on the skills required for occupations with different complexity. The empirical analysis finds strong evidence in support of the model by confirming all four hypotheses. The analysis shows that accounting for costly technology transfer within multinational firms is important for explaining the structure of trade and multinational production.
    JEL: F1 F15 F23
    Date: 2008–12
  3. By: Bruce Blonigen
    Abstract: This paper revisits the issue of people's preferences for international trade protection examining survey data from the American National Election Studies. I first show that both an individual's skills and the international trade characteristics of their employment industry affects their trade policy preferences, in contrast to previous analysis using these data. Second, I document that many people do not feel informed enough to state a preference on trade protection, which is inconsistent with assumptions of standard political economy models. I examine the factors that correlate with being uninformed, and show that inferences from actual trade policy outcomes can be incorrect if one does not account for this uninformed group. Finally, I examine and find that individuals' retirement decisions have systematic effects on both their choice to be informed and their trade policy preferences. This highlights that there are significant life-cycle implications to trade policy preferences.
    JEL: D72 D83 F13 F16
    Date: 2008–12
  4. By: Bouet, Antoine; Mevel, Simon; Thomas, Marcelle
    Abstract: "By using a global computable general equilibrium model, this report analyzes the impact of various pending free trade agreements for Peru. In December 2007, a Peru–United States free trade agreement (FTA) was finally ratified by the U.S. Congress, replacing the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, which awarded Peru and other Andean countries nonreciprocal preferential tariffs. A Peru–European Union (EU27) FTA is also being negotiated in the context of Peru's participation in the integration of the Andean Community (CAN). Finally, as of October 2008 Peru is concluding negotiations for a free trade agreement with China, its third major trading partner after the United States and the EU27. Although these agreements are expected to improve market access, their impact on the economic welfare of the beneficiary countries is dependent on the countries' structure of current tariffs and trade and the extent to which the new agreements result in trade diversion versus trade creation. The analysis shows that specific features of Peru's trade and tariff structures make the country a better candidate for a South-South FTA with China than for North-South FTAs with the United States or the EU27." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: WTO, Free Trade Agreement, trade liberalization, CGE Modeling,
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Bouet, Antoine; Laborde, David
    Abstract: "In times of economic turmoil, countries might decide to increase current tariff rates to protect domestic industries or raise revenues in order to finance domestic programs. Using the highest applied or bound rate imposed by countries from 1995 to 2008 as an indicator, this study presents several scenarios regarding the economic costs of a failed Doha Round and a subsequent rush into protectionism. For example, in a scenario where the applied tariffs of major economies would go all the way up to currently bound tariff rates, world trade would decrease by 7.7 percent. In a more modest scenario where countries would raise tariffs to maximum rates applied during the past 13 years, world trade would decrease by 3.2 percent. These increases in duties would reduce world welfare by US$353 billion under the first scenario, and by US$134 billion under the more modest scenario. While such an increase in duties would particularly impact agricultural exports (–6.9 percent), especially in developing countries (–11.5 percent), exports of industrial goods could also face a substantial reduction: 2 percent in developed countries and 4.8 percent in developing countries. This study concludes there would be a potential loss of US$1,064 billion in world trade if world leaders were to fail to conclude the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations in the next few weeks and if countries were to implement subsequently protectionist policies, as occurred after the end of the Uruguay Round. The failure of the negotiations would prevent a US$336 billion increase in world trade that would have come from a reduction in tariffs and domestic support, while a worldwide resort to protectionism would contract world trade by US$728 billion." from text
    Keywords: Agricultural policies, WTO Doha round, International trade, exports, tariffs, Protectionism,
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Kang, Hyunsoo; Kennedy, P. Lynn; Hilbun, Brian
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the world rice market through a Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) framework utilizing annual data from 1970 to 2007. Since World War Two, the world rice market has been very unstable, with rice prices experiencing volatile swings in both rice price and rice availability. Therefore, a SCP framework can provide crucial insight into the world rice market for policy makers. Also, this paper describes the effects of total production, export rice price, and real exchange rate for exporting countries on total export volume from an export supply model standpoint. On the basis of these results, it is evident that market power exists in the international rice market with respect to supply elasticity and an exporting country’s currency exchange rate greatly determines that country’s competitiveness as a net rice exporter relative to other rice producers.
    Keywords: S-C-P paradigm, world rice market, concentration ratio, HHI, export rice price, exchange rate export supply function, Industrial Organization, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2009–01
  7. By: Kang, Hyunsoo; Kennedy, P. Lynn; Hilbun, Brian
    Abstract: This analysis presents the determination of an import demand function for the world rice market using annual data from 1994 to 2007. In the specification and analysis of a world rice market import demand function, Ordinary Least Square (OLS), Instrumental Variables (IV) with Generalized Method of Moments (GMM), and Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) methods have been used. Social welfare effects have been obtained using consumer surplus and compensated variation for the top four rice importing countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia). Empirical results suggest that economic growth, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and importing countries’ population positively affect national income, thus, positively affecting rice consumption. Oil price has a strong effect on the domestic rice prices in importing countries. This paper also estimates the social effects arising from increased rice export prices and examines how consumer surplus is affected in major rice importing countries.
    Keywords: rice export and import, consumer surplus, trade, import demand function, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2009–01
  8. By: Lopez, Ramon; Islam, Asif
    Abstract: Trade, the exchange of goods and services across countries, is often viewed as an engine of economic growth. Benefits of liberalized trade include access to a larger variety of goods and services to consumers, easier access to foreign technologies, access to larger markets for producers, and increased efficiency in resource allocation. The impact of trade on the environment, however, is a contentious issue; air and water pollution, the degradation of natural habitats and loss of species, and global pollutants, particularly carbon dioxide emissions, are major concerns.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2008

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