Globally, large current account imbalances prevail. This column argues that they also continue to represent a systemic risk for the world economy. The WTO has a clear-cut role in the institutional effort to address these imbalances. However, this role has more to do with opening services and government procurement markets than with the often invoked trade sanctions in response to exchange rate misalignments.
Juan Marchetti, Michele Ruta, Robert Teh, 02 January 2013
Susan Ariel Aaronson, 22 December 2012
The internet is an expanding opportunity for growth. This column argues that in recent years, however, policymakers and market actors have been undermining its potential. Governments and market actors are reducing both access to information and freedom of expression, as well as moving towards a splintered, non-global internet. Commitment to an open, free and global internet will be hard, but if bilateral, regional or multilateral trade agreements encourage interoperability, we might see some harmony among signatories’ privacy, online piracy, and security policies.
Rudolfs Bems, Robert Johnson, 06 December 2012
With the rise of complex, globalised supply chains is the real effective exchange rate (REER), the most commonly used measure of competitiveness, now outdated? If it is, what should replace it? This column presents a ‘Value-Added REER’ and shows that it differs substantially from the conventional REER. Because it is possible to construct a new Value-Added REER from existing data, policymakers interested in improving their understanding of competitiveness might well consider including it in their toolbox.
Marc Auboin, Martina Engemann, 03 December 2012
What effect does trade finance have on international trade? This column uses new data to stress the importance of trade finance for international trade both in crisis and in non-crisis periods. The major policy lesson is that there must be high levels of market incentives for supplying trade credit, particularly during a period of ‘deleveraging’ of the financial system. That said, trade credit statistics could be vastly improved if we wish to continue comparing global trade finance transactions against global trade.
Laura Alfaro, Paola Conconi, Harald Fadinger, Patrick Legros, Andrew Newman, 02 December 2012
Increasingly, people are pointing the finger of blame for economic woe at large firms. This column argues that organisation design is often affected by government trade policy. If firm organisation design has implications for consumer welfare (in terms of prices and quality of product), evidence suggests that governments should make sure that in future, trade policy and corporate governance policy are more complementary.
Alireza Naghavi, Chiara Strozzi, 18 November 2012
Does emigration create a brain drain or – as commentators have recently been suggesting – do diasporas in fact represent a net brain gain? This column argues that if sending countries can protect intellectual property rights, they will foster the necessary diaspora knowledge networks to significantly help economic development in sending countries.
Thorvaldur Gylfason, Per Wijkman, 04 November 2012
Today, most of Europe is free from dictatorships and conflict. Yet, these spectres loom in neighbouring states and nearby regions. This column suggests that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the EU, was perhaps a call to action. Can the EU, preoccupied as it is with a growing Eurozone crisis, encourage peace and democracy in its neighbourhood? And what are the lessons we can learn from recent EU policy history?
Monica Eaton, Michael Ferrantino, 04 September 2012
The Eurozone debt crisis is not simply a problem for industrialised countries. This column shows how its effects are being felt throughout Africa.
Oleg Itskhoki, Marc Muendler, Stephen Redding, Elhanan Helpman, 20 May 2012
What is the effect of trade on inequality? This column presents a unique study examining wage inequality in Brazil after liberalisation. Starting from a closed economy, the column finds that wage inequality will initially rise as only some firms take advantage of the new opportunities. But as trade costs continue to fall and more firms start to trade, wage inequality peaks and begins to fall back.
The Editors, 30 June 2011
This CEPR/World Bank volume seeks to facilitate, and in the process develop methodologies for, a rigorous impact evaluation of trade-related interventions.
Simon Evenett, 20 July 2011
The 9th GTA report shows that the pick-up in protectionism since the Seoul G20 summit coincides with the deterioration in economic sentiment.
Nicholas Bloom, Mirko Draca, John Van Reenen, 03 February 2011
Chinese exports are often blamed for job losses and firm closures in developed economies. This column tracks the performance of more than half a million manufacturing firms in 12 European countries over the past decade. It finds that competition with Chinese exports is directly responsible for around 15% of technical change and an annual benefit of almost €10 billion in these countries – the wider productivity effects may well be larger.
Bernard Hoekman, Aaditya Mattoo, 24 December 2010
Trade in services is blighted by restrictive policy and is consequently one of the central issues in the Doha trade negotiations. Yet this column argues that even the best offers put forward are twice as restrictive as current policy and will generate no additional market openings. This column provides two proposals that aim to enhance the prospects of correcting this.
David O'Sullivan, 17 September 2010
David O’Sullivan, Director General for Trade at the European Commission, talks to Viv Davies about the issues and challenges in setting the direction for future EU trade policy. As a contribution to the VoxEU debate on "The future of EU trade policy", O’Sullivan discusses the EU’s responsibility within the world trading system, trade governance and the WTO, the role of reciprocity, the BRICs and the importance of successfully concluding the Doha Development Agenda; he also comments on the issue of ‘multilateralising regionalism’. The interview was recorded on 15 September 2010.
Lucian Cernat, Bertin Martens, 07 May 2010
The EU and US are huge, quite open markets, but many barriers to doing business across the Atlantic remain. This column argues for creating a transatlantic marketplace by reducing regulatory barriers. The EU and US are already regulatory standard setters. Creating a transatlantic market with harmonised regulation would strongly reinforce this global regulatory leadership role.
Simon Evenett, 18 February 2010
The latest GTA report examines whether macroeconomic stabilisation has altered governments' resort to protectionism, with a focus on the Gulf Region.
Simon Evenett, 14 December 2009
The third report of Global Trade Alert contains the latest assessment of protectionist dynamics at work in the world economy with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
Simon Evenett, 14 December 2009
The latest Report from Global Trade Alert focuses on the Asia-Pacific region.
Caroline Freund, Nadia Rocha, 11 December 2009
It has been shown that poor trade infrastructure is a key reason for Africa's weak exports. This column goes a step further and provides evidence that the delays in inland transport are the most crucial factor restricting Sub-Saharan Africa's trade. Policy makers’ focus on foreign trade policy may therefore be misguided.
Simon Evenett, Bernard Hoekman, 06 July 2009
For most nations in the world, this is a trade crisis. Leaving China and India aside, income of developing nations is expected to drop 1.6% this year, even though these nations had nothing to do with subprime assets or the financial shenanigans that triggered the crisis. A new CEPR-World Bank e-book reports that protectionism is not yet a problem, but argues that the “fateful allure of protectionism” is a threat. To counter the threat, four concrete steps should be taken to reinforce the global trade and financial architecture.