Peter Egger, Filip Tarlea, 20 May 2017

Putting a number on how effective policymakers are in boosting cross-border trade is important. But doing so in a statistically sound way is not trivial. This column presents a new methodology to identify the causal effect of preferential economic integration agreements. It finds trade effects that are somewhat smaller than predicted by established, but problematic, procedures.

Jaime de Melo, Alberto Portugal-Perez, 29 May 2012

Joining a global supply chain is one of the few ways for low-income countries to industrialise in today’s competitive market. Rules on their use of imported fabric therefore have important consequences for development. This column exploits a quasi-experimental situation to show that the gains from rich nations applying more relaxed rules on imported inputs are huge – six times greater than the simple act of removing tariffs.

Theresa Carpenter, Andreas Lendle, 25 March 2011

How much of world trade is preferential? This column uses tariff data covering around 90% of world trade in 2008 to show that only 16.3% of world trade is eligible for preferences. It shows that preferences reduce the global trade-weighted tariff from 3% to 2%.

Ivan Cherkashin , Svetlana Demidova , Hiau Looi Kee, Kala Krishna, 19 February 2011

Trade preferences, such as those removing restrictions on Madagascar’s exports to the US, have long been a controversial policy. Some argue that it removes incentives for firms to become more competitive as they simply divert their trade to the preferred market. This column argues using counterfactual simulations that trade preferences can increase trade for the provider country, the receiver country, and other trading partners as well.

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EU Member States and the European Commission often assert that the EU's multiple trade preference schemes are a concrete manifestation of Europe's commitment to the development of poorer nations through trade. But what do we really know about the impact of these measures? Do they actually affect developing countries evenly? By how much? In this presentation Simon Evenett will provide a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the empirical findings concerning the operation of the EU's trade preference schemes. WIth a discussion grounded in the evidence base, he will assess if there is a gap between European aspirations and the outcomes on the ground. Implications will be drawn for European trade and development policies in general, including those initiatives associated with the Doha Round.

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