nep-int New Economics Papers
on International Trade
Issue of 2009‒02‒14
twelve papers chosen by
Alessia A. Amighini
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. The Margins of US Trade By Andrew B. Bernard; J. Bradford Jensen; Stephen J. Redding; Peter K. Schott
  2. Expanding Trade within Africa: The Impact of Trade Facilitation By Njinkeu, Dominique; S. Wilson, John; Powo Fosso, Bruno
  3. Trade Policy, Trade Costs, and Developing Country Trade By Hoekman , Bernard; Nicita, Alessandro
  4. Structural Estimation and Solution of International Trade Models with Heterogeneous Firms By Edward J. Balistreri; Russell H. Hillberry; Thomas F. Rutherford
  5. International Trade Integration: A Disaggregated Approach By Natalie Chen; Dennis Novy
  6. The Impact of Services Trade Liberalisation on Trade in Non-Agricultural Products By Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås
  7. Bank internationalization and trade: What comes first? By Giovanni Ferri; Alberto Franco Pozzolo
  8. The Trade Specialization of SANE:Evidence from Manufacturing Industries By Alessandrini , Michele; Enowbi Batuo , Michael
  9. Subsidies and Exports in Germany First Evidence from Enterprise Panel Data By Sourafel Girma; Holger Görg; Joachim Wagner
  10. The Regional Dimension of North-South Trade-Related R&D Spillovers By Schiff, Maurice; Wang, Yanling
  11. The Location of Japanese MNCs Affiliates: Agglomeration Spillovers and Firm Heterogeneity By Tomohiko Inui; Toshiyuki Matsuura; Sandra Pocet
  12. Exporting quality: is it the right strategy for the Italian manufacturing sector? By Imbriani, Cesare; Morone, Piergiuseppe; Testa, Giuseppina

  1. By: Andrew B. Bernard; J. Bradford Jensen; Stephen J. Redding; Peter K. Schott
    Abstract: Recent research in international trade emphasizes the importance of firms' extensive margins forunderstanding overall patterns of trade as well as how firms respond to specific events such as tradeliberalization. In this paper, we use detailed U.S. trade statistics to provide a broad overview of howthe margins of trade contribute to variation in U.S. imports and exports across trading partners, typesof trade (i.e. arm's-length versus related-party) and both short and long time horizons. Among otherresults, we highlight the differential behaviour of related-party and arm's-length trade in response tothe 1997 Asian financial crisis.
    Keywords: Heterogeneous firms, Product differentiation, Product market entry and exit
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2009–01
  2. By: Njinkeu, Dominique (International Lawyers and Economists Against Poverty (ILEAP)); S. Wilson, John (The World Bank); Powo Fosso, Bruno (Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC))
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of trade facilitation on intra-African trade. The authors examine the role of trade facilitation reforms, such as increased port efficiency, improved customs, and regulatory environments, and upgrading services infrastructure on trade between African countries. They also consider how regional trade agreements relate to intra-African trade flows. Using trade data from 2003 to 2004, they find that improvement in ports and services infrastructure promise relatively more expansion in intra-African trade than other measures. They also show that, almost all regional trade agreements have a positive effect on trade flows
    Keywords: Trade; Africa; Regional Integration; Trade Facilitation
    JEL: F10 F15
    Date: 2008–12–01
  3. By: Hoekman , Bernard (The World Bank); Nicita, Alessandro (UNCTAD)
    Abstract: 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.
    Keywords: Tariffs; nontariff measures; trade facilitation; logistics; economic development; Doha Round
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2008–12–01
  4. By: Edward J. Balistreri; Russell H. Hillberry; Thomas F. Rutherford
    Abstract: We present an empirical implementation of a general-equilibrium model of international trade with heterogeneous manufacturing firms. The theory underlying our model is consistent with Melitz (2003). A nonlinear structural estimation procedure identifies a set of core parameters and unobserved firm-level trade frictions that best fit the geographic pattern of trade. Once the parameters are identified, we utilize a decomposition technique for computing general-equilibrium counterfactuals. We first assess the economic effects of reductions in measured tariffs. Taking the simple-average welfare change across regions the Melitz structure indicates welfare gains from liberalization that are nearly four times larger than in a standard trade policy simulation. Furthermore, when we compare the economic impact of tariff reductions with reductions in estimated fixed trade costs we find that policy measures affecting the fixed costs are of greater importance than tariff barriers
    Keywords: n/a
    JEL: C68 F12
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Natalie Chen; Dennis Novy
    Abstract: This paper investigates the sources and size of trade barriers at the industry level. We derive amicro-founded measure of industry-specific bilateral trade integration that has an in-builtcontrol for time-varying multilateral resistance. This trade integration measure is consistentwith a broad range of recent trade models including the Anderson and van Wincoop (2003)framework, the Ricardian model by Eaton and Kortum (2002) and heterogeneous firmsmodels. We use it to explore trade barriers for manufacturing industries in European Unioncountries between 1999 and 2003. We find a large degree of trade cost heterogeneity acrossindustries. The most important trade barriers are transportation costs and policy factors suchas Technical Barriers to Trade. Trade integration is generally lower for countries that optedout of the Euro or did not abolish border controls in accordance with the SchengenAgreement. Reductions in trade barriers explain about one-half of the growth in trade overthe period 1999-2003 and are therefore a major driving force of the EU Single Market.
    Keywords: Trade Integration, Gravity, Trade Costs, Multilateral Resistance, Industries,Disaggregation, European Union
    JEL: F10 F15
    Date: 2009–01
  6. By: Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås
    Abstract: This study finds that trade in services contributes to a broader services supplier base that supports competitiveness in high-technology and high-value added manufacturing. It is shown that with low, but still significant trade costs in services, large countries have a comparative advantage for services-intensive manufactured goods, an advantage that is enhanced if the country also produces intermediate services more effectively or has lower barriers to entry for services suppliers. Countries with superior organisational technology (using producer services more effectively) will strengthen their comparative advantage in manufacturing following services trade liberalisation. The impact of services trade liberalisation on trade in manufacturing is non-linear. Until trade costs have reached a threshold level the trade response is quite modest. Consequently, going the last mile of services trade liberalisation, including lowering regulatory barriers, will have the largest impact. Exports of labour-intensive manufactures require a host of supporting services and the need for these services has increased over time due to rapidly changing consumer tastes and growing consumer awareness of health, safety and social standards. In order to support industrial development, developing countries need to focus their services trade policy not only on offensive interests, but also on ensuring that local manufacturers have the best possible access to services. Improving market access in telecommunications and business services; particularly legal services, accounting, advertising and technical consulting services would have the largest impact.
    Keywords: linkages, general equilibrium, services trade liberalisation
    JEL: F12 F13 F14
    Date: 2008–10–16
  7. By: Giovanni Ferri (Universit… degli Studi di Bari); Alberto Franco Pozzolo (Universit… degli Studi del Moliste)
    Abstract: We study the dynamic nexus that changes in foreign bank penetration have with changes in trade and FDI between some selected OECD countries and Central and Eastern Europe countries (CEECs). Following the literature, we contemplate the possibility that such a nexus might differ depending on whether foreign bank entry materializes through the opening of branches or by acquiring local subsidiaries. The question that we try to answer is whether bank internationalization led or followed the increase in trade and manufacturing FDI. Using data on the changes in the bilateral linkages between OECD origin countries and CEECs target countries between 1995 and 2002, we find only one strong link, going from the share of bilateral trade over total trade from the country of origin, which we define a "push factor", to the change in the presence of foreign branches. The link from trade to bank acquisition of foreign subsidiaries is instead much weaker. In addition, we find some evidence that the share of bilateral trade over total trade with the target country, which we define a "pull factor", affects bank internationalization through the acquisition of subsidiaries, but not through the opening of branches.
    Date: 2009–01
  8. By: Alessandrini , Michele; Enowbi Batuo , Michael
    Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of the foreign trade specialization in manufacturing sectors of South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. These four countries, the so-called SANE, are recently viewed as Africa’s best chance of producing an economic bloc comparable to the BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Using data on trade flows since mid-1970s, the results show that the SANE group has experienced few changes in its trade structure, which is still based on low-technology and slow-growth world demand sectors. The degree of persistence in the specialization model is higher in the case of Algeria and Nigeria, where the dependence on products based on natural resources is stronger.
    Keywords: SANE; Trade specialization; Manufacturing; Lafay index
    JEL: N67 O55 O24 F14
    Date: 2008–06
  9. By: Sourafel Girma (University of Nottingham); Holger Görg (Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Chistian-Albrechts-University); Joachim Wagner (Institute of Economics, University of Lüneburg)
    Abstract: We use newly available representative panel data for manufacturing enterprises in West and East Germany to investigate the link between production-related subsidies and exports. We document that only a small fraction of enterprises is subsidized, and that exports and subsidies are positively related. Using a matching approach to investigate the causal effect of subsidies on export activities we find no impact of subsidies on the probability to start exporting, and only weak evidence for an impact of subsidies on the share of exports in total sales in West Germany but no evidence in East Germany.
    Keywords: Subsidies, export, Germany, enterprise panel data
    JEL: F13 F14 H29
    Date: 2009–01
  10. By: Schiff, Maurice (The World Bank); Wang, Yanling (Carleton University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of trade with Japan, North America, and the European Union on technology diffusion and total factor productivity growth in Korea, Mexico, and Jordan. Measures of foreign research and development are constructed based on industry-specific research and development in the North, North-South trade patterns, and input-output relations in the South. The findings show that technology diffusion and productivity gains tend to be regional. Jordan benefits mainly from trade with the European Union, Korea from trade with Japan, and Mexico from trade with North America. In other words, the dynamic version of the âÃÂÃÂnatural trading partnersâÃÂàhypothesis holds for these countries.
    Keywords: North-South Trade; R&D; Regional Spillovers
    JEL: F15 O33 O47
    Date: 2009–01–01
  11. By: Tomohiko Inui; Toshiyuki Matsuura; Sandra Pocet
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of location choices of foreign affiliates by manufacturing Japanese firms, using a new data set that matches parents and their affiliates created over the years 1995-2003. The analysis is based on new economic geography theory and thus focuses on the effect of market and supplier access, as well as production and trade costs. Our interest is twofold. First, we investigate the importance of agglomeration and spillover effects on the firmsf decision through the use of proxies relating to the presence of Japanese affiliates in the host countries as well as to that of Japanese multinational firms at home. Overall, our results confirm the economic importance of information sharing and network effects both at home and in the host country beside traditional determinants pertaining to production and transaction costs and access and supply access. Second, we explore whether the effects of key determinants of locational choice vary substantially depending on the characteristics of the investing firm and the plant. We find less productive and smaller parents to be more likely to create an affiliate in China rather than in Western Europe or an OECD country. Moreover less productive firms appear to be more sensitive to distance-related costs and low institutional quality while being more responsive to the presence of Japanese firms and JETRO presence in the host country.
    Date: 2008–08
  12. By: Imbriani, Cesare; Morone, Piergiuseppe; Testa, Giuseppina
    Abstract: ABSTRACT: Recently, most European manufacturing firms have been engaged in a number of innovative activities to survive the growing competition coming from newly-industrialising countries. Italian manufacturing industry, which relies largely on SMEs, is struggling to regain competitiveness in global markets. In light of these stylised facts, we first investigate whether innovating activities and quality goods’ production enhance Italian SMEs’ probability to be exporter. Our findings suggest that both products’ quality and innovative activities affect considerably SMEs’ likelihood to export. Subsequently, using the Chow test, we find evidence for a structural break produced by quality, which results in substantial differences between high and low-quality firms. The former are more likely to export if they introduce product innovation, marketing innovation and/or organisational changes, the latter increase their chances of exporting when introducing process innovations and organisational changes.
    Keywords: SMEs; exports; innovative activities; quality; probit
    JEL: O31 C25 L1
    Date: 2008–12–19

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