Jonas Hjort, Vinayak Iyer, Golvine de Rochambeau, 02 December 2021

Access to large buyers is increasingly believed to facilitate firm growth and job creation. This column uses an experiment with small and medium-sized firms in Liberia to analyse whether purely informational barriers exclude firms from accessing growth-conducive value chains. Exposing firms to a week-long ‘sellership’ programme helped them win more and better contracts, and the treatment had long-term effects. As the informational constraint is shown to bind for a quartile of firms, reducing informational barriers can help level the playing field and may also improve overall allocative efficiency.

Raphaël Parchet, Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 15 October 2021

The development of the Swiss highway network from 1960 to 2010 influenced the residential and job compositions of municipalities. The advent of an entrance/exit ramp within 10 km of a municipality caused a long-term 24% increase in the share of top-income taxpayers. The welfare gains of residents of connected municipalities relative to residents in non-connected municipalities range from only 2% for the low-income group to 12% for the top-income group. Highways also contributed to job and residential urban sprawl.

Jasper Lukkezen, 24 September 2015

After 2018, Greece should have market access. This column argues that without further debt relief, this is unlikely to happen. Under reasonable assumptions, its debt ratio will likely not decline, and the financing burden will increase again. Private investors will take these risks into account and will ask for a risk premium that Greece cannot afford in the long run.

José De Sousa, Thierry Mayer, Soledad Zignago, 20 November 2012

Do trade costs still matter in a modern era characterised by a fall in transaction costs? This column argues that there is a dearth of good analysis in the debate around market access difficulties. Complaining about restrictions in accessing foreign markets is political leaders’ current favourite hobby yet. In light of stalled WTO negotiations, shouldn’t rigour, not rhetoric, lead this debate?

Jaime de Melo, Céline Carrère, Bolormaa Klok, 21 November 2009

Almost all economies are party to preferential trade schemes. But how much are they “giving away” or “receiving” in preferential access? This column presents a compact representation of effective market access and applies it to the proposed ASEAN-EU trade agreement.

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