International trade

Pamina Koenig, Sebastian Krautheim, Claudius Löhnert, Thierry Verdier, 30 July 2021

With economic globalisation facing a legitimacy crisis fuelled by various scandals associated with globalised value chains, advocacy NGOs and their campaigns are in the limelight. Still, little systematic knowledge has been generated on how global sourcing and exporting decisions of firms interact with the upsurge of this international social activism. This column uses a unique dataset on NGO campaigns against firms to show how the internationalisation and geographical structure of NGO campaigns are closely intertwined with patterns of global production and trade. 

Giuseppe Berlingieri, Luca Marcolin, Emanuel Ornelas, 28 July 2021

Trade in services is important but difficult to measure. This column introduces a new dataset that helps understand the contribution of services to global value chains and their role in the process of exporting goods. Firms with longer experience in exporting goods to a destination tend to source export-related service inputs from there rather than domestically, and do so within the boundaries of the business group rather than at arm’s length.

Marc Melitz, Stephen Redding, 28 July 2021

International trade is a key determinant of firm profitability and survival, so it is natural to expect it to influence both incentives to innovate and the rate of creative destruction. This column highlights four key mechanisms through which international trade affects endogenous innovation and growth: market size, competition, comparative advantage, and knowledge spillovers. Each of these mechanisms offers potential static and dynamic welfare gains. Discriminating between alternative mechanisms for these dynamic welfare gains and strengthening the evidence on their quantitative magnitude remain exciting areas of ongoing research.

Valentina Bruno, Hyun Song Shin, 27 July 2021

The strength of the US dollar in currency markets has drawn the attention of researchers, policymakers, and businesses for decades. This column examines the effects of the dollar on international trade, with a particular focus on exports. A strong dollar dampens trade volumes through the financial channel, outweighing any improvement in trade competitiveness. Trade activity is strong when the dollar is weak, but global trade suffers when the dollar is strong.

Georgios Georgiadis, Helena Le Mezo , Arnaud Mehl, Cédric Tille, 26 July 2021

The US dollar has a dominant role in currency invoicing of global trade, covering around 40% of international transactions, followed by the euro and the renminbi. This column analyses the effects of economic fundamentals and government policies on currency invoicing patterns. Strategic complementarities and integration in global value chains are both important determinants of dollar and euro invoicing in trade with the US and the euro area, while the establishment of currency swap lines by the People’s Bank of China has been associated with increases in renminbi invoicing, with an adverse effect on dollar use. 

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