World Bank Policy Research Working Papers
Export Profiles of Small Landlocked Countries: A Case Study Focusing on their Implications for Lesotho [статья]
Опубликовано на портале: 16-12-2003Alexander Yeats, Francis Ng World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. 2003. No. 3085.
World Bank demographic and country characteristic statistics identify 16 small landlocked countries that are similar to Lesotho. Ng and Yeats attempt to determine what useful policy information can be derived from the recent trade performance of these “comparators.” Among questions they pose are whether the trade profiles of the comparators suggest potentially promising export ventures for Lesotho, do they indicate directions for a geographic diversification of trade, or do they suggest products in which Lesotho might acquire a comparative advantage. The authors also use U.S. partner country statistics to evaluate Lesotho’s export performance in this major market. <> The U.S. data indicate Lesotho lost competitive export shares for about three-quarters of its major clothing products during the late 1990s. The data show these losses were primarily to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries in the Caribbean. Lesotho was competing on basically equal terms and did not fare well. But it is generally held that the most efficient clothing exporters are in the Far East and not Latin America. Lesotho’s difficulties in competing with the latter have worrisome implications for its ability to compete with East Asian exporters when the Multifiber Arrangement is phased out. The comparative advantage profiles of the landlocked comparator countries suggest Lesotho’s options for a greatly needed export diversification may be wider than is assumed. One or more of the comparator countries developed a comparative advantage in 110 four-digit SITC (non-clothing) manufactures which are generally labor-intensive in production. Many of these goods should also be suitable for production and export by Lesotho. International production sharing often involves the importation and further assembly of components in developing countries. This activity can significantly broaden the range of new products in which a country can diversify. Statistics show many landlocked comparator countries have moved into component assembly operations, and it appears this activity could contribute to Lesotho’s export diversification and industrialization. But the quality problems associated with Lesotho’s trade statistics makes it impossible to determine the extent to which local production sharing is occurring. A special effort is needed to tabulate reliable statistics on Lesotho’s current involvement in this activity. Finally, the authors attempt to determine how the commercial policy environment in Lesotho compares with that in other countries. Policymakers previously had difficulty in addressing this issue, but several recent efforts to compile comprehensive cross-country indices of the quality of governance and commercial policies now provide relevant information. These statistics suggest domestic commercial policies make Lesotho relatively less attractive to foreign investment than many other developing countries. Less than 20 percent of all Latin American countries have a domestic commercial environment judged to be inferior to that in Lesotho, while the corresponding share for East Asia is under 30 percent. Overall, almost 70 percent of all developing countries appear to pursue commercial policies that make them as, or more, attractive to foreign investment than Lesotho.
Опубликовано на портале: 16-12-2003Carsten Fink, Beata Smarzynska, Mariana Spatareanu World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. 2003. No. 3150.
Economists have long recognized that richer countries trade more among themselves than with poorer economies due to a closer match of exporter supply structures and importer preferences. In the literature, the closeness of supply and demand has traditionally been determined by the quality of products—as expressed in the so-called Linder hypothesis. This paper examines an extension of the Linder hypothesis by also considering the extent of horizontal product differentiation as another determinant of the closeness of supply and demand. The empirical analysis employs information on international trademark registrations to test whether richer countries import more from countries whose exports are of higher quality and exhibit a greater degree of product differentiation. The results lend support to the hypothesis in most consumer goods sectors but not in intermediate goods sectors.
Опубликовано на портале: 16-12-2003Jacques Morisset, Alejandro Izquierdo, Marcelo Olarreaga World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. 2003. No. 3032.
Globalization has been a persistent phenomenon of the post-war period. The gross volume of cross-border capital flows has grown at an average of 25 percent a year, and trade in goods and services has also increased, albeit not as dramatically, but at least twice as fast as world GDP over the past 20 years. Yet, consumers and investors continue to spend and hold a disproportionate share of their assets in local markets—the so-called home-bias has been emphasized by many recent empirical studies. For many researchers, this home bias reflects information asymmetries and the fact that acquiring information across international borders is relatively costly. The main objective of the authors is to identify channels through which information gets disseminated across international markets. They consider three potential channels through which information can affect import and foreign equity purchase decisions in 14 OECD countries. The first channel consists of information spillovers from the commercial to the financial markets and vice-versa. Financial investors and importers share common information, which is also frequently conveyed to them by the same source—banks or financial intermediaries. The second and third channels emphasize seller and buyer reputations in international markets. The seller reputation channel stresses the importance given by, for example, importers in the United States who are considering buying products from Italy to the experience that Canadian and Japanese importers may have accumulated on Italian exporters. The buyer reputation channel examines to what extent a foreign investor or trader seeks information on the reliability of the foreign buyer by assessing his reputation in other countries. While the last two channels are equally important in explaining bilateral import flows, buyer reputation appears to be of greater importance for equity flows in the sample. The authors argue that these three channels may help provide some insights about the recent episodes of contagion across markets and countries that occurred over the past decade. These information channels can create virtuous or vicious circles that may, in turn, lead to unexpected changes in investors’ and traders’ behaviors across markets.
Integrating the Least Developed Countries into the World Trading System: The Current Impact of EU Preferences under Everything but Arms [статья]
Опубликовано на портале: 16-12-2003Paul Brenton World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. 2003. No. 3018.
Trade preferences are a key element in industrial countries’ efforts to assist the integration of least developed countries (LDCs) into the world economy. Brenton provides an initial evaluation of the impact of the European Union’s recently introduced “Everything but Arms” (EBA) initiative on the products currently exported by the LDCs. He shows that the changes introduced by the EBA initiative in 2001 are relatively minor for currently exported products, primarily because over 99 percent of EU imports from the LDCs are in products which the EU had already liberalized, and the complete removal of barriers to the key remaining products—rice, sugar, and bananas—has been delayed. Brenton looks at the role EU preferences to LDCs in general have been playing and could play in assisting the integration of the LDCs. He shows that there is considerable variation across countries in the potential impact that EU preferences can have given current export structures. There is a group of LDCs for whom EU trade preferences on existing exports are not significant since these exports are mainly of products where the most-favored-nation duty is zero. Export diversification is the key issue for these countries. For other LDCs, EU preferences have the potential to provide a more substantial impact on trade. However, the author shows that only 50 percent of EU imports from non-ACP (Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific) LDCs which are eligible actually request preferential access to the EU. The prime suspect for this low level of use are the rules of origin, both the restrictiveness of the requirements on sufficient processing and the costs and difficulties of providing the necessary documentation. More simple rules of origin are likely to enhance the impact of EU trade preferences in terms of improving market access and in stimulating diversification toward a broader range of exports.
Major Trade Trends in East Asia: What are their Implications for Regional Cooperation and Growth? [статья]
Опубликовано на портале: 16-12-2003Alexander Yeats, Francis Ng World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. 2003. No. 3084.
This study’s empirical findings have positive implications for further efforts to expand East Asian regional trade and cooperation initiatives. Since the mid-1980s regional intra-trade has grown at a rate roughly double that of world trade, and at a rate far higher than the intra-trade of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) member countries or the European Union. Evidence based on intra-industry trade ratios or statistics on international production sharing show economic linkages and the interdependence of East Asian economies have considerably strengthened over the past two decades. On a global scale, East Asia (excluding Japan) now originates 19 percent of world trade, which is approximately the same share as the NAFTA member countries.
Regional Integration and Technology Diffusion: The Case of the North America Free Trade Agreement [статья]
Опубликовано на портале: 16-12-2003Yanling Wang, Maurice Schiff World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. 2003. No. 3132.
The literature on regional integration agreements (RIAs) is vast and deals with political, economic, and political economy issues. The literature on the economics of RIAs deals mostly with static effects, and concludes that these effects are, in general, ambiguous. So far there has been no empirical analysis of the dynamic effects of RIAs based on their impact on technology diffusion from partner and nonpartner countries. Schiff and Wang's paper is a first attempt in this direction. The authors examine the impact of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on total factor productivity in Mexico through its impact on trade-related technology transfers from OECD countries. They estimate trade-related technology diffusion by using a measure of trade-related foreign research and development (R&D). Foreign R&D is constructed based on industry-specific R&D in the OECD, OECD-Mexico trade patterns, and input-output relations in Mexico. The authors find that: (i) Mexico’s trade with its NAFTA partners had a large and significant impact on Mexico’s total factor productivity, while trade with the rest of the OECD did not. (ii) Simulating the impact of NAFTA has led to a permanent increase in total factor productivity in Mexico’s manufacturing sector of between 5.5 percent and 7.5 percent and to some convergence with the economies of Canada and the United States.
Опубликовано на портале: 16-12-2003Julio J. Nogués World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. 2003. No. 3088.
On December 10, 2001 the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) imposed steep antidumping duties against honey imports from Argentina and China ranging from 32.6 percent to 183.8 percent, and a countervailing duty against Argentina of 5.9 percent. A previous antidumping investigation in 1995 ended with a suspension “agreement” that curtailed U.S. imports from China by around 30 percent. Millions of beekeepers around the world, most of them poor, make a living from honey production, and a free and competitive world market would help raise their standards of living. Nevertheless, the sequential pattern of increasing and widening protectionism followed by the United States, the world’s top importer, to include successful exporters under the effects of its contingent protection measures sends a clear message that other countries should think twice before investing in expanding honey exports to the United States. In addition to looking into the trade effects of these contingent protection measures, Nogués concludes that under the regulatory arrangements of the DOC, Argentina’s beekeepers never had a chance of defending themselves. For example, responding to the DOC’s lengthy and sophisticated questionnaires that sought to determine cost of production went beyond the capacities of poor beekeepers. In the absence of information, the DOC resorted to evidence presented by the petitioners which was riddled with errors. The available evidence suggests that had beekeepers been capable of responding to the questionnaires, the margin of dumping would had been lower, if at all existent. This and other evidence discussed by Nogués suggest the urgent need to introduce reforms into the World Trade Organization antidumping and subsidy agreements. At the minimum what is required is a consensus that all respondents be given the same opportunity by the international trade rules. The author argues that at present this is not the case and offers suggestions for reforms.
Опубликовано на портале: 08-12-2003Ayesha Yaqub Vawda, Varun Gauri World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. 2003. No. 3005.
Voucher programs consist of three simultaneous reforms: allowing parents to choose schools, creating intense incentives for schools to increase enrollment, and granting schools management autonomy to respond to demand. As a result, voucher advocates and critics tend to talk past each other. A principal-agent framework clarifies the argument for education vouchers. Central findings from the literature, including issues related to variance in the performance measure, risk aversion, the productivity of more effort, multiple tasks, and the value of monitoring are found relevant for an analysis of vouchers. An assessment of findings on voucher programs in industrial countries, as well as a review of voucher or quasi-voucher experiences in Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, and the Czech Republic support the usefulness of the analytic framework. Gauri and Vawda conclude that vouchers for basic education in developing countries can enhance outcomes when they are limited to modest numbers of poor students in urban settings, particularly in conjunction with existing private schools with surplus capacity. The success of more ambitious voucher programs depends on an institutional infrastructure challenging to industrial and developing countries alike. This paper—a joint product of Public Services, Development Research Group, and the Education Team, Human Development Network—is a background paper for the 2004 World Development Report.