The authors create a standards restrictiveness index using newly available data on maximum residue levels of pesticides for 61 importing countries. ... See More + The paper analyzes the impact that food safety standards have on international trade of agricultural products. The findings suggest that more restrictive standards are associated, on average, with a lower probability of observing trade. However, after controlling for sample selection and the proportion of exporting firms in a gravity model, the analysis finds that the effect of standards on trade intensity is indistinguishable from zero. This is consistent with the assumption that meeting stringent standards increases primarily the fixed costs of exporting. Once firms enter the market, however, standards do not impact the level of exports. The analysis also finds a greater marginal effect of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) standards on the probability of trade, relative to other countries' standards, keeping in mind however that on average BRICS standards are less restrictive. The analysis also suggests that exporters in low-income countries are more adversely affected by stricter standards. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS6518 JUN 01, 2013
Otsuki, Tsunehiro; Ferro, Esteban; Wilson, John S.
Using a new database on Chinese food standards, this paper estimates the impact of volunta-ry and mandatory standards on its agricultural and food exports. ... See More + The dataset covers seven Chinese products from 1992 to 2008. The findings here indicate that standards have a posi-tive effect on China's export performance. Standards signal to customers that products meet certain quality measures and promote information exchange. The benefits of increased ex-ports outweigh compliance costs. Our results also show that theses positive effects are larger when the standards are consistent with international norms. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5976 FEB 01, 2012
Mangelsdorf, Axel; Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Wilson, John S.
This book examines the state and the fate of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). The volume has three key objectives: to provide qualitative and quantitative information about the implications of what is currently on the table; to examine controversial areas where further progress might be made; and to identify lessons that might be of use for future negotiations. ... See More + The analysis provides some suggestions for future negotiations, whether they involve comprehensive renegotiation of issues covered under the Doha Agenda, or entirely new negotiations. Conclusions include: there is much in the proposals already on the table; substantially more might be achieved in some key areas; and there is a case for new approaches in future negotiations. Finally, the volume identifies several critical trade-related matters that lie outside the DDA, such as the trade and trade policy implications of climate change mitigation, exchange rate management, food security, and energy security. See Less -
Publication 65456 NOV 01, 2011
Martin, Will; Bouët, Antoine; Grant, Jason; Brown, Chad P.; Anderson, Kym; Mattoo, Aaditya; Laborde, David; Blandford, David; Gootiiz, Batshur; Hoekman, Bernard; Subramanian, Arvind; Borchert, Ingo; van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique; Prusa, Thomas J.; Winkler, Deborah; Nelgen, Signe; Meilke, Karl; Taylor, Benjamin J.; Josling, Tim; Wilson, John S.
This paper evaluates the impact of foreign aid to five service sectors (transportation, information and communications technologies, energy, banking/financial services, and business services) on exports of downstream manufacturing sectors in developing countries. ... See More + To address the reverse causality between aid and exports, the analysis relies on an original identification strategy that exploits (i) the variation of aid flows to service sectors, and (ii) the variation of service-intensities across industrial sectors and countries using input-output data. The authors find a positive effect of aid to services, in general, on downstream manufacturing exports of developing countries across regions and income-level groups. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5728 JUL 01, 2011
Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Ferro, Esteban; Wilson, John S.
This paper proposes a new framework to analyze aid effectiveness. Using World Bank firm survey data and OECD aid flow data, the authors analyze whether aid targets areas that firms in developing countries have identified as obstacles for their growth and whether aid actually improves firms' perceptions of those areas. ... See More + The analysis finds that aid does target the areas that firms have identified as obstacles; aid funding trade related projects is particularly effective in targeting the correct countries. For the most part, aid has a positive impact on improving firms' perceptions, particularly in the business environment. And for each target area, smaller aid disbursements tend to be more effective at improving firm perceptions than larger disbursements. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5546 JAN 01, 2011
Ferro, Esteban; Wilson, John S.
Private inspection of international shipments has been used over the last half-century for a variety of purposes. These include prevention of capital flight and improvement of import duty collection, among others. ... See More + The existing literature has failed to find much impact of these inspection programs on collected tariff revenue or corruption at the border. This paper explores the "facilitation" effect of private inspection programs on trade. The results indicate that private inspection has a positive and significant trade-facilitation effect. These programs raise import volumes for countries using them by approximately 2 to 10 percent. The findings here also suggest that the benefit of private inspection of imports may be associated with reforms and best practices applied by private inspection firms. Private firms' inspection of cargo may promote faster clearance times and process reliability, rather than improved tax collection. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5515 DEC 01, 2010
Velea, Irina; Cadot, Olivier; Wilson, John S.
The current post-crisis environment and fragile economic recovery increases the importance of aid for trade. Global rebalancing and tightened fiscal budgets in the short to medium term also place renewed emphasis on aid effectiveness. ... See More + This note identifies four options to enhance the effectiveness of the multilateral aid for trade initiative: (i) expanding market access for least-developed countries (LDCs) through leadership by middle-income G-20 members; (ii) creating a mechanism to identify good practices in domestic regulation of service markets and other 'behind-the-border' trade-related policies; (iii) leveraging the dynamism and knowledge of the private sector to improve trade facilitation and build capacity; and (iv) but a renewed 'activism' by government in the trade and growth agenda need not mean. See Less -
Brief 56057 AUG 01, 2010
Hoekman, Bernard; Wilson, John S.
Since 2005, donors and development agencies have increased the overall value of aid for trade and put in place several mechanisms to channel such aid and to ensure that it targets national priorities. ... See More + This paper reviews recent trends in the allocation of aid for trade and analyses of its effectiveness. It identifies a number of opportunities for concerted action to enhance the impact of aid for trade initiatives, including greater involvement by middle-income countries in the initiative (through improved market access, investment flows, and knowledge transfers); deeper engagement with the private sector -- a key source of information on what works and what does not; a stronger focus on improving the "behind the border" policies that affect the efficiency of key services sectors and help determine firm-level competitiveness; and a stronger focus on monitoring and evaluation of results. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5361 JUL 01, 2010
Hoekman, Bernard; Wilson, John S.
The authors estimate the impact of aggregate indicators of "soft" and "hard" infrastructure on the export performance of developing countries. ... See More + They build four new indicators for 101 countries over the period 2004-07. Estimates show that trade facilitation reforms do improve the export performance of developing countries. This is particularly true with investment in physical infrastructure and regulatory reform to improve the business environment. Moreover, the findings provide evidence that the marginal effect of infrastructure improvement on exports appears to be decreasing in per capita income. In contrast, the impact of information and communications technology on exports appears increasingly important for richer countries. Drawing on estimates, the authors compute illustrative exports growth for developing countries and ad-valorem equivalents of improving each indicator halfway to the level of the top performer in the region. As an example, improving the quality of physical infrastructure so that Egypt's indicator increases half-way to the level of Tunisia would increase exports by 10.8 percent. This is equivalent to a 7.4 percent cut in tariffs faced by Egyptian exporters across importing markets. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5261 APR 01, 2010
Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Wilson, John S.
It is assumed that added time to export adds cost to and lowers the volume of trade. Time delays may also affect the composition of trade and can disproportionately reduce trade in time-sensitive goods. ... See More + This paper investigates the validity of these propositions using the World Bank Doing Business database and Enterprise Surveys for 64 developing countries. The authors find that in countries where there is longer time needed to export firms in time-sensitive industries are less likely to become exporters. Moreover, firms that do export have lower export intensities. Their findings imply that time to export is a significant determinant of comparative advantage. For example, consider two industries that have the same export probability and intensity - but differ in time-sensitivity by one standard deviation. Action taken to cut time to export by 50 percent for one industry opens a 6 percentage point difference between the export probabilities of the two industries. In addition, steps to cut time delays increase export intensities by 1.9 percentage points. This impact applies to industries with different productivity levels -- and those in developing countries with different income levels. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5128 NOV 01, 2009
Li , Yue; Wilson, John S.
Does foreign aid spent on trade facilitation increase trade flows of developing countries? There is an on-going and high profile discussion of aid-for-trade associated with the Doha negotiations of the World Trade Organization. ... See More + There continue also questions about how best to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The analysis in this paper explicitly considers how to target aid most effectively to increase trade a fundamental question related to the crisis and policy debate over restarting the world trading system. Using detailed data on aid flows from the OECD, the analysis here estimates the responsiveness of trade flows to specific types of foreign aid. The findings indicate that aid directed toward promoting trade enhances the trade performance of recipient countries: a 1 percent increase in aid directed toward trade policy and regulatory reform (amounting to about US$11.7 million more such aid) could generate an increase in global trade of about US$818 million. This yields a "rate of return" on every dollar of this type of aid of about US$697 in additional trade. As the dollar aid flow is relatively small, such targeted aid mitigates concerns about absorptive capacity and real exchange rate appreciation, which may accompany larger disbursements. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS5064 SEP 01, 2009
Mann, Catherine; Helble, Matthias; Wilson, John S.
The world economic crisis of 2008 presents clear challenges to prospects for economic growth in developing countries. This is particularly true for emerging economies in East Asia that have relied to a great extent over the past decade on export-led growth. ... See More + What steps to facilitate trade promise a relatively strong return on investment for East Asia to help sustain trade and growth? The authors examine how port infrastructure affects trade and the role of transport costs in driving exports and imports for the region. They find that port congestion has significantly increased the transport costs to East Asia from both of the United States and Japan. The analysis suggests that cutting port congestion by 10 percent could cut transport costs in East Asia by up to 3 percent. This translates into a 0.3 to 0.5 percent across-the-board tariff cut. In addition, the estimates suggest that the trade cost reduction of investment in port infrastructure in East Asia that translates into higher consumer welfare would far outweigh the cost for physical expansion of the ports in the region. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS4911 APR 01, 2009
Abe, Kazutomo; Wilson, John S.
Product standards can have a dual impact on production and trade costs. Standards may impose additional costs on exporters as it may be necessary to adapt products for specific markets (cost-effect). ... See More + In contrast, standards can reduce exporters' information costs if they convey information on industrial requirements or consumer tastes that would be costly to collect in the absence of standards (informational-effect). Using a new World Bank database of European standards for electronic products, the authors examine the impact of internationally-harmonized European standards on European Union imports. They find that European Union standards for electronic products that are harmonized to international standards have a positive and significant effect on trade. The results suggest that efforts to promote trade in electronic products could be complemented by steps to promote standards harmonization. This might include, for example, re-starting talks to extend the Information Technology Agreement to non-tariff measures and commitments to harmonize national standards in electronic products. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS4916 APR 01, 2009
Reyes, Jose-Daniel; Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Wilson, John S.
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. ... See More + 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. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS4790 DEC 01, 2008
Wilson, John S.; Njinkeu, Dominique; Fosso, Bruno Powo
This paper examines the impact of reducing corruption and improving transparency to lower trade costs in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation region. ... See More + The authors find, based on a computable general equilibrium model, significant potential trade and welfare gains for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation members, with increased transparency and lower levels of corruption. Results suggest that trade in the region would increase by 11 percent and global welfare would expand by $406 billion by raising transparency to the average in the region. Most of the increase in welfare would take place in member economies undertaking reform. Among the reformers, the gross domestic product of Vietnam, Thailand, Russia, and the Philippines would increase approximately 20 percent. The benefits to Malaysia and China would also be substantial with increased transparency and lower levels of corruption. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS4731 SEP 01, 2008
Wilson, John S.; Abe, Kazutomo
This paper reviews data and research on trade costs for Sub-Saharan African countries. It focuses on: border-related costs, transport costs, costs related to behind-the border issues, and the costs of compliance with rules of origin specific to preferential trade agreements. ... See More + Trade costs are, on average, higher for African countries than for other developing countries. Using gravity-model estimates, the authors compute ad-valorem equivalents of improvements in trade indicators for a sample of African countries. The evidence suggests that the gains for African exporters from improving the trade logistics half-way to the level in South Africa is more important than a substantive cut in tariff barriers. As an example, improving logistics in Ethiopia half-way to the level in South Africa would be roughly equivalent to a 7.5 percent cut in tariffs faced by Ethiopian exporters. See Less -
Policy Research Working Paper WPS4719 SEP 01, 2008
Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Wilson, John S.
The establishment of a mechanism to coordinate and monitor the progress of trade facilitation efforts complements the success of a new agreement on trade facilitation in the Doha Development Agenda. ... See More + Better coordination among donors to channel aid-for-trade funds more effectively to recipient countries can help ensure that new trade-related assistance is most effective in meeting the goals of reducing barriers and expanding trade. New disciplines in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on trade facilitation can be helpful in increasing transparency, lowering trade costs, and expanding trade opportunities for all members. The much larger agenda, however, is outside of the WTO and mandate. Sustained progress in development requires continued progress at the national level in ensuring the rule of law, removing barriers to trade, investing in regulatory reform, and upgrading infrastructure to lower trade costs. New aid-for-trade facilitation, tied to concrete and achievable goals, can also support progress. See Less -
Brief 45159 JUL 01, 2008
Wilson, John S.; Taylor, Benjamin J.
New initiatives to close the development gap and expand trade among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are at the forefront of the policy discussion. ... See More + Countries in Southeast Asia perform relatively well in terms of costs to import and export. Costs are more or less in line with the organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average. In terms of the amount of time and paperwork it takes to complete a cross-border transaction, however, much progress remains for ASEAN. On average, the association's members require 32 days and 11 documents for an import transaction, compared with 12 days and 6 documents for the average OECD country. There are clear benefits to be gained in addressing these areas. Where might reform initiatives be deepened and what are the relative impacts of such reform steps? New analysis at the World Bank suggests examining two key areas, among others: port facilities and competitiveness in the Internet services sector. Reform in these areas could expand ASEAN trade by up to 7.5 percent ($22 billion) and 5.7 percent ($17 billion), respectively. By contrast, cutting applied tariffs to the regional average in Southeast Asia an important step could increase intra-regional trade by about 2 percent ($6.3 billion). See Less -
Brief 45151 JUL 01, 2008
Taylor, Benjamin J.; Wilson, John S
Standards and technical regulations are an increasingly prominent part of the international trade policy debate. As many of the least-developed countries have duty-free access to major developed-country markets, the trade effects of non-tariff barriers have assumed greater importance. ... See More + Recent analysis has focused on how standards and regulations affect trade costs and export prospects for developing country firms exporting into developed markets. In short, new work indicates that standards harmonized to international ones have a less negative effect on developing country exports than do non-harmonized or regionally harmonized standards. See Less -
Brief 45154 JUL 01, 2008
Wilson, John S.; Taylor, Benjamin J.;
The members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are rapidly approaching the Bogor Declaration's deadline for free trade and investment for industrialized members by the year 2010. ... See More + As the Group's 2007 report on the implementation of APEC transparency standards notes, the removal of barriers to trade is in large part only meaningful to the extent that such reforms are accompanied by actions to promote transparency in both at-the-border and behind-the-border procedures (APEC 2007). According to research at the World Bank, the potential intra-regional trade gains in APEC from improved transparency are important, estimated to be approximately $148 billion, or 7.5 percent of 2004 intra-regional trade volume. APEC has long been at the forefront of reform efforts in the area of trade facilitation. Following the success of the 2001 Shanghai Declaration in reducing trade costs and APEC member economies' renewed commitment to strive toward an additional 5 percent reduction in cross-border transactions costs by 2010, transparency issues should figure prominently in APEC's immediate trade facilitation initiatives. See Less -
Brief 45161 JUL 01, 2008
Wilson, John S.; Taylor, Benjamin J.;
|Title||Document Date||Report No.||Document Type||Also available in|
|The effect of product standards on agricultural exports from developing countries (English) See More +||JUN 01, 2013||WPS6518||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Food standards and exports : evidence from China (English) See More +||FEB 01, 2012||WPS5976||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Unfinished Business? The WTO's Doha Agenda (English) See More +||NOV 01, 2011||65456||Publication|
|Aid to the services sector : does it affect manufacturing exports ? (English) See More +||JUL 01, 2011||WPS5728||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Foreign aid and business bottlenecks : a study of aid effectiveness (English) See More +||JAN 01, 2011||WPS5546||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Do private inspection programs affect trade facilitation ? (English) See More +||DEC 01, 2010||WPS5515||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Aid for trade : an action agenda looking forward (English) See More +||AUG 01, 2010||56057||Brief|
|Aid for trade : building on progress today for tomorrow's future (English) See More +||JUL 01, 2010||WPS5361||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Export performance and trade facilitation reform : hard and soft infrastructure (English) See More +||APR 01, 2010||WPS5261||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Time as a determinant of comparative advantage (English) See More +||NOV 01, 2009||WPS5128||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Aid for trade facilitation (English) See More +||SEP 01, 2009||WPS5064||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Weathering the storm : investing in port infrastructure to lower trade costs in East Asia (English) See More +||APR 01, 2009||WPS4911||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Beyond the information technology agreement : harmonization of standards and trade in electronics (English) See More +||APR 01, 2009||WPS4916||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Expanding trade within Africa : the impact of trade facilitation (English) See More +||DEC 01, 2008||WPS4790||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Governance, corruption, and trade in the Asia Pacific region (English) See More +||SEP 01, 2008||WPS4731||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Why trade facilitation matters to Africa ? (English) See More +||SEP 01, 2008||WPS4719||Policy Research Working Paper|
|Trade facilitation and the Doha agenda : what matters for development (English) See More +||JUL 01, 2008||45159||Brief|
|Deeper integration in ASEAN : why transport and technology matter for trade (English) See More +||JUL 01, 2008||45151||Brief|
|Harmonized international standards do matter to developing country exports (English) See More +||JUL 01, 2008||45154||Brief|
|Transparency reform could raise trade by $148 billion in APEC (English) See More +||JUL 01, 2008||45161||Brief|