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Trade Facilitation Indicators: Hard and Soft Infrastructure

Authors:Luis Alberto Portugal Perez  and John S. Wilson
Web Address:Trade and International Integration
Report Number:wps5261

Portugal-Perez, Alberto and John S. Wilson "Export Performance and Trade Facilitation Reform: Hard and Soft Infrastructure", World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Number 5261, 2010.

Four new indicators, covering 112 countries over the 2004-2007 period, are estimated to show that trade facilitation reforms do improve the export performance of developing countries. The database contains four new indicators related to trade facilitation covering 112 countries over the 2004-2007. The indicators are scaled on a range of 0 (lowest performer) to 1 (top performer) and are obtained using factor analysis using 20 indicators of different sources: Doing Business, World Economic Forum, World Development Indicators and Transparency International.

They are grouped along two dimensions:

Hard infrastructure:

  • Physical infrastructure measures the level of development and quality of ports, airports, roads, and rail infrastructure.
  • Information and communications technology (ICT) is interpreted as the extent to which an economy uses information and communications technology to improve efficiency, and productivity as well as to reduce transaction costs. It contains indicators on the availability, use, absorption, and government prioritization of ICT.

Soft Infrastructure:

  • Border and transport efficiency aims at quantifying the level of efficiency of customs and domestic transport that is reflected in the time, cost, and number of documents necessary for export and import procedures.
  • Business and regulatory environment measures the level of development of regulations and transparency. It is built on indicators of irregular payments, favoritism, government transparency, and measures to combat corruption.

For a more detailed description of the methodology, please refer to the research paper by Portugal-Perez & Wilson (2010).

Access to Dataset
  • Trade Facilitation Indicators dataset (MS Excel file, 43.7kb)

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