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Books on International Trade

Making Foreign Direct Investment Work for Sub-Saharan Africa: Local Spillovers and Competitiveness in Global Value Chains
Edited by Thomas Farole and Deborah Winkler, January 2014
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Foreign direct investment (FDI) is becoming increasingly critical to the economies of developing countries, in part due to a major expansion in the scope of global value chains (GVCs), whereby lead firms outsource parts of their production and services activities across complex international networks. FDI delivers important contributions including investment, employment, and foreign exchange. However, it is FDI’s spillover potential – the productivity gain that may result from the diffusion of knowledge and technology from foreign investors to local firms and workers – that is perhaps the most valuable contribution to long run growth and development. While substantial research has been undertaken on the existence and direction of spillovers from FDI, many questions remain. Moreover, there is a need to understand better the dynamics of spillovers in certain contexts, including in low income countries, in resource-based sectors, and in the context of GVCs. This book presents the results of a groundbreaking designed to address some of these questions, drawing on detailed field research in eight countries (including five in Sub-Saharan Africa) across three sectors: agribusiness, apparel, and mining. The book presents a summary of the results of this analytical work and discusses their implications for policy makers hoping to harness the power of FDI for greater development outcomes.

Let Workers Move: Using Bilateral Labor Agreements to Increase Trade in Services
Edited by Sebastian Sáez, June 2013
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The temporary movement of labor is one mode of delivering services across borders. Unlike the movement of capital, and despite significant returns to mobility, labor movement remains highly restricted and politically sensitive. To circumvent this problem, the use of bilateral labor agreements (BLAs) may serve as a potential complementary means of increasing temporary labor mobility, particularly among workers in the services sector. This book assesses what has been achieved so far in trade agreements in terms of the temporary movement of services providers and explores how BLAs might allow countries—especially developing countries—to focus on the temporary movement of very specific categories of workers, such as computer programmers or electricians within the construction sector. It also reviews case studies from Europe, North America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific to examine the viability and performance of BLAs as a complement to other efforts to liberalize the temporary movement of people.

The Internal Geography of Trade: Lagging Regions and Global Markets
Edited bInternal Geograph of Trade covery Thomas Farole, April 2013
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While national incomes have converged in recent decades, the emergence of entrenched “leading” and “lagging” regions within countries is becoming a critical policy challenge. Drawing on empirical studies and case studies, this book assesses the role of trade integration and connectivity in shaping and addressing the challenges of lagging regions.

Quantitative Analysis of Road Transport Agreements (QuARTA)
BQuARTA covery Charles Kunaka, Virginia Tanase, Pierre Latrille, and Peter Krausz, April 2013
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In most regions of the world, road transport is the predominant channel of international trade traffic. Yet the agreements used by states to regulate international road transport services often lack transparency and can contribute significantly to the costs of trade. This study sheds light on such agreements and identifies potential focus areas for reform.

Global Value Chains, Economic Upgrading, and Gender: Case Studies of the Horticulture, Tourism, and Call Center Industries
Edited bGVC and Gender largey Cornelia Staritz & José Guilherme Reis, January 2013
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International trade is increasingly structured around global value chains (GVCs). Production in many sectors has become fragmented across multiple countries that link firms, workers and consumers around the world. The prominent role female workers play in many of these export-oriented industries, as high as 80% of workers in some sectors such as horticulture packing operations, suggests that participation in GVCs has positive development benefits for women in developing countries. However, this is based on overall female employment share without fully examining the quality and nature of the work or the implications of how men and women participate in the chain.

This publication tackles the critical topic of gender and workforce relations in developing countries. It is based on on the analysis of three export industries with high female employment: horticulture, tourism, and call centers. These industry case studies examined the gender distribution of employment, the opportunities and constraints men and women face in the respective chains, as well as comparing experiences across different cultural settings in three different regions: Honduras for horticulture, Egypt for call centers and Kenya for tourism.

Non-Tariff Measures - A Fresh Look at Trade Policy's New Frontier
Edited bNTMs A Fresh Looky Olivier Cadot & Mariem Malouche, July 2012
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In a world where many forms of protection – including tariffs – are constrained by WTO disciplines, non-tariff measures (NTMs) are the new frontier of trade policy. NTMs that are poorly designed or captured by special interests can hurt competitiveness and fragment markets; whereas well-designed ones can effectively overcome informational and other market failures. Assisting governments in the design of NTMs is a critical challenge for donors and development agencies. However, many issues relating, for example, to regional harmonisation and the interaction of NTMs with market structure are still imperfectly understood. This volume brings together recent work by young scholars that draws on original data to shed light on some of the key analytical and policy issues.  

Pathways to African Export Sustainability
BPathways Cover Smally Paul Brenton, Olivier Cadot & Martha Denisse Pierola, June 2012
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African exporters suffer from low survival rates on international markets. However, this trend is not inevitable. The high failure rate of African exports is largely explained by Africa's low-income business environment and, once properly benchmarked, Africa’s performance in terms of exporter failure is no outlier. Moreover, African exporters show vigorous entrepreneurship, with high entry rates into new products and markets despite formidable hurdles created by poor infrastructure, landlocked boundaries for some, and limited access to major sea routes for others. African exporters experiment a lot, and they frequently pay the price of failure. What matters for policy is how to ensure that viable ventures survive. Research carried out for this book demonstrates that governments can and should help to reduce the rate of failure of African export ventures through a mixture of improvements in the business environment, as well as well-targeted proactive interventions.

Does What You Export Matter? In Search of Empirical Guidance for Industrial Policies
BDoes What you export matter? smally Daniel Lederman & William F. Maloney, June 2012
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Does what economies export matter for development? If so, can industrial policies improve the export basket generated by the market? The authors take a critical look at both conceptual motivations for and the reliability of existing indicators of growth-promoting exports put forth by proponents of industrial policies. Accordingly, The authors argue that given the heterogeneity of growth experiences of countries with similar export baskets, and the difficulties of identifying "good" exports, policy makers should focus less on what is produced, and more on how it is produced. They analyze alternative approaches to picking winners, ultimately favoring “horizontal-ish” policies that only incidentally favor some sectors over others.

African Agricultural Reforms: The Role of Consensus and Institutions
Edited African Agricultural Reforms -Aksoy Cover_smallby M. Ataman Aksoy, June 2012
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The agricultural reforms initiated by Sub-Saharan African countries in the 1990s were expected to induce higher growth by increasing producer incentives. However, subsequent agricultural growth rates have been uneven. This book provides a different approach to interpreting the outcomes by developing a political economy framework that brings together the issues of reform consensus, the role of negative shocks, and institutional capability to respond to shocks. The authors use case studies from across the continent to provide cross-cutting analyses of growth patterns, commodity price cycles and technological developments. They ultimately attribute observed successes to the degree of political and social consensus achieved on reforms and find that weak consensus and an inability to respond to shocks are associated with reform reversals and growth collapses. The book will be of interest to staff within the World Bank, as well as to practitioners in public services, civil society organizations, research institutes involved with the political economy of reforms, and other donor agencies involved in the design and implementation of reform programs. More Information >>

Exporting Services: A Developing Country Perspective
Exporting Services Book
Edited by Arti Grover Goswami, Aaditya Mattoo, and Sebastian Saez, November 2011
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The past two decades have seen exciting changes with developing countries emerging as exporters of services. Technological developments now make it easier to trade services across borders. But other avenues are being exploited: tourists visit not just to sightsee but also to be treated and educated, service providers move abroad under innovative new schemes, and some developing countries defy traditional notions by investing abroad in services. More Information >>  

Unfinished Business? The WTO's Doha AgendaUnfinished Business? The WTO's Doha Agenda
Edited by Will Martin and Aaditya Mattoo, November 2011
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The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is in limbo. After ten years of hard work by skilled negotiators, seeking to identify the interests of different participants and to reconcile them into an overall agreement, no conclusion is in sight. A Doha-weary world faces a difficult “trilemma”: to implement all or part of the draft agreements as they stand today; to modify them substantially; or to dump Doha and start afresh. At this critical juncture, this volume aims to provide a better empirical basis for informed choices. It addresses the questions that are relevant to each of the possible scenarios. What benefits precisely does Doha currently offer individual participants and what would be lost if Doha were abandoned? What are the implications of potential modifications proposed to the Doha drafts? And if the WTO did start afresh, what have we learnt from Doha about ways to go? More Information >>

Special Economic Zones: Progress, Emerging Challenges, and Future Directions SEZ new
Edited by Thomas Farole, Gokhan Akinci, August 2011
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For countries as diverse as China and Mauritius, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have been a powerful tool to attract foreign investment, promote export-oriented growth, and generate employment; for many others, the results have been less than encouraging. While the benefits and limitations of zones will no doubt continue to be debated, what is clear is that policymakers are increasingly attracted to them as an instrument of trade, investment, industrial, and spatial policy. Since the mid 1980s, the number of newly-established zones has grown rapidly in almost all regions, with dramatic growth in developing countries. In parallel with this growth and in the evolving context of global trade and investment, zones are also undergoing significant change in both their form and function, with traditional export processing zones (EPZs) increasingly giving way to larger and more flexible SEZ models. This new context will bring significant opportunities for developing countries to take advantage of SEZs, but will also raise new challenges to their successful design and implementation.

The Great Recession and Import Protection: The Role of Temporary Trade Barriers 
Edited by Chad P. Bown, July 2011
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The Great Recession of 2008–9 caused a negative shock to the global economy that is comparable with the Great Depression of the 1930s, and with it came an uncertainty that was especially endemic to the early periods of the crisis. There was particularly acute uncertainty regarding trade policy. Could the modern trading system withstand such a devastating economic blow? Specifically, would governments live up to their early-crisis pledge to refrain from protectionism? More Information >>

Preferential Trade Agreement Policies for Development: A HandbookPreferential Trade Agreement Policies for Development: A Handbook
Edited by Jean-Pierre Chauffour, Jean-Christophe Maur, July 2011
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This handbook on PTA policies for development offers an introduction into the world of modern preferential trade agreements. It goes beyond the traditional paradigm of trade creation versus trade diversion to address the economic and legal aspects of the regulatory policies that are contained in today‘s PTAs. The book maps the landscape of PTAs, summarizes the theoretical arguments, political economy, and development dimensions of PTAs, and presents the current practice in the main policy areas typically covered in PTAs (from agriculture policy, rules of origin, customs unions, trade remedies, product standards, technical barriers, to behind the border issues related to investment, trade facilitation, competition, government procurement, intellectual property, labor rights, human rights, environment, migration, and dispute resolution). These are also usually the policies driven by powerful trading blocs as they strive to influence the evolution of the global trading system.

Trade Finance during the Great Trade CollapseTrade Finance during the Great Trade Collapse
Edited by Jean-Pierre Chauffour, Mariem Malouche, July 2011
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On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest U.S. investment bank filed for bankruptcy. Global credit markets tightened. Spreads skyrocketed. International trade plummeted by double digits. Banks were reportedly unable to meet the demand from their customers to finance their international trade operations, leaving a trade finance “gap” estimated at around US$25 billion. Governments and international institutions felt compelled to intervene based on the information that some 80-90 percent of world trade relies on some form of trade finance. As the recovery unfolds, the time has come to provide policy makers and analysts with a comprehensive assessment of the role of trade finance in the 2008-09 great trade collapse and the subsequent role of governments and institutions to help restore trade finance markets.

Where to Spend the Next Million? Applying Impact Evaluation to Trade Assistance
Edited by Olivier Cadot, Ana Margarida Fernandes, Julien Gourdon, Aaditya Mattoo, June 2011
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"A welcome trend is emerging towards more clinical and thoughtful approaches to addressing constraints faced by developing countries as they seek to benefit from the gains from trade. But this evolving approach brings with it formidable analytical challenges that we have yet to surmount. We need to know more about available options for evaluating Aid for Trade, which interventions yield the highest returns, and whether experiences in one development area can be transplanted to another. These are some of the issues addressed in this excellent volume." Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization "Five years into the Aid for Trade project, we still need to learn much more about what works and what does not. Our initiatives offer excellent opportunities to evaluate impacts rigorously. That is the way to better connect aid to results. The collection of essays in this well-timed volume shows that the new approaches to evaluation that we are applying to education, poverty, or health programs can also be used to assess the results of policies to promote or assist trade. This book offers a valuable contribution to the drive to ensure value for aid money." Robert Zoellick, President, The World Bank

Connecting Landlocked Developing Countries to Markets: Trade Corridors in the 21st CenturyConnecting Landlocked Developing Countries to Markets: Trade Corridors in the 21st Century
by Jean-Francois Arvis, Graham Smith, Robin Carruthers, April 2011
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This book aims to help the policymaker and development community in general to understand the nature of the problems and policy dilemmas that landlocked countries face to trade with the rest of the World. This volume presents an important breakthrough in the literature, by focusing on a new conceptual framework that challenges the previous paradigm based on physical infrastructure and state-led access solutions, embodied in many treaties.

Managing Openness: Trade and Outward-Oriented Growth after the CrisisManaging Openness: Trade and Outward-Oriented Growth after the Crisis
Edited by Mona Haddad, Ben Shepherd, March 2011
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The global financial crisis triggered a broad reassessment of economic integration policies in developed and developing countries worldwide. The crisis-induced collapse in trade was the sharpest ever since World War II, affecting all countries and all product categories. A huge shock to the trading system, combined with severe macroeconomic instability, makes it natural for policymakers to call into question the basic underlying assumptions of trade liberalization and openness. In particular, outward-oriented or export-led growth strategies are being reassessed as openness is increasingly associated with greater volatility. However, it is crucial not to lose sight of the dynamic benefits that openness can offer. Examples include technology transfer, increased competitive pressure that reduces markups and improves efficiency, and economies of scale. The real question is how to manage outward-oriented strategies so as to maximize the benefits of openness while minimizing risks. 

Supply Chains in Export Agriculture, Competition, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan AfricaSupply Chains in Export Agriculture, Competition, and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Guido Porto, Nicolas M Depetris Chauvin, Marcelo Olarreaga, March 2011
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Cash crops provide the livelihoods for millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. This CEPR/World Bank book explores the effects of increasing competition in these markets. It finds that while competition improves welfare for farmers on the whole, policymakers should still consider the potential winners and losers in each case.

Special Economic Zones in Africa: Comparing Performance and Learning from Global ExperiencesSpecial Economic Zones in Africa: Comparing Performance and Learning from Global Experiences
by Thomas Farole, February 2011
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This book, designed for policymakers, academics and researchers, and SEZ program practitioners, provides the first systematic and comprehensive analysis of SEZ programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is the result of detailed surveys and case studies conducted during 2009 in ten developing countries, including six in Sub-Saharan Africa. The book provides quantitative evidence of the performance of SEZs, and of the factors which contribute to that performance, highlighting the critical importance not just of the SEZ itself but of the wider national investment climate in which it functions. It also provides a comprehensive guide to the key policy questions that confront governments establishing SEZ programs, including: if and when to launch an SEZ program, what form of SEZ is most appropriate, and how to go about implementing it. Among the most important findings from the study that is stressed in the book is the shift from traditional enclave models of zones to SEZs that are integrated - with national trade and industrial strategies, with core trade and social infrastructure, with domestic suppliers, and with local labor markets.
Although the book focuses primarily on the experience of Sub-Saharan Africa, its lessons will be applicable to developing countries around the world.

Trade Costs and Facilitation: Open Table and Economic Development

Trade Costs and Facilitation: Open Trade and Economic Development
Edited by Jean-Christophe Maur and John S. Wilson, January 2011

The need for countries to facilitate trade and to reduce the transactions costs plaguing trade is receiving a lot of interest in policy circles, and in particular in the WTO, where trade facilitation has been one of the few good stories in recent multilateral negotiations. Is this interest justified? What have economic theory and empirical findings to contribute to our understanding of the value of free trade? This authoritative two-volume set, edited by two leading scholars in the field, offers a collection of seminal articles that have led our economic thinking on these issues and encouraged a new and growing literature. This important work, along with an original introduction by the editors, will be of immense value to scholars and practitioners interested in the topic of trade costs and facilitation.

Making the Cut? Low-Income Countries and the Global Clothing Value Chain in a Post-Quota and Post-Crisis WorldMaking the Cut? Low-Income Countries and the Global Clothing Value Chain in a Post-Quota and Post-Crisis World
by Cornelia Staritz, December 2010
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The study finds that global consolidation in the clothing sector has increased entry barriers at the country and firm level. This has created new challenges to LIC suppliers as low labor costs and preferential market access are not enough to be competitive in the clothing sector today. Suppliers with broad capabilities have been able to develop strategic relationships with global buyers. Marginal or new suppliers are entering the global value chains through intermediaries, but face limited upgrading opportunities. FDI plays an important role in integrated LICs into global clothing value chains, yet it needs to be used in a way that promotes and upgrades local clothing industries. Overall, the clothing sector still provides opportunities for export diversification and industrial development. However, this requires pro-active policies to increase the competitiveness and local embeddedness of LIC clothing exporters.

Logistics in Lagging RegionsLogistics in Lagging Regions: Overcoming Local Barriers to Global Connectivity
by Charles Kunaka, December 2010
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Using case studies of sisal and soybean supply chains in Brazil and India respectively, this publication explores the role and impact of intermediaries in facilitating trade in lagging regions and assesses the horizontal relationships between small-scale farmers and the vertical connections between different tiers of the same supply chains. The study finds that farmers linked through these different mechanisms are more integrated to international supply chains or are able to better manage supply chains longer than would otherwise be the case. Intermediaries play several roles including providing transport services and facilitating market exchanges, payments, risk sharing, and quality improvements.

Border Management ModernizationBorder Management Modernization
Edited by Gerard McLinden, Enrique Fanta, David Widdowson, Tom Doyle, November 2010
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Border clearance processes by customs and other agencies are among the most important and problematic links in the global supply chain. It takes three times as many days, nearly twice as many documents, and six times as many signatures to import goods in poor countries than it does in rich ones. Delays and costs at the border undermine a country’s competitiveness, either by taxing imported inputs with deadweight inefficiencies or by adding costs and reducing the competitiveness of exports.

This book is designed to shed new light on these problems and to identify a range of strategies that will help officials meet their traditional control responsibilities while at the same time facilitating legitimate trade. It also provides advice to development professional and key policy makers about what works, what doesn’t and why.

Carbon Footprints and Food SystemsCarbon Footprints and Food Systems: Do Current Accounting Methodologies Disadvantage Developing Countries?
by Paul Brenton, Gareth Edwards-Jones, Michael Friis Jensen, September 2010
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Carbon Footprints and Food Systems is part of the World Bank Studies series. These papers are published to communicate the results of the Bank’s ongoing research and to stimulate public discussion. Carbon accounting and labeling instruments are designed to present information on greenhouse gas emissions from supply chains and are important in raising awareness for governments, producers, retailers, and consumers. This paper analyzes current carbon accounting methodologies for sugar and pineapple products from Zambia and Mauritius, compares different carbon accounting and labeling schemes to assess their potential for accurately representing productions systems in developing countries, and concludes with a series of recommendations to inform the public on how carbon labeling and accounting can be more development-friendly. World Bank Studies are available individually or on standing order. This World Bank Study series is also available online through the World Bank e-library (


Global Value Chains in a Postcrisis World: A Development PerspectiveGlobal Value Chains in a Postcrisis World: A Development Perspective
Edited by Olivier Cattaneo, Gary Gereffi, Cornelia Staritz, September 2010
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Global Value Chains in a Postcrisis World: A Development Perspective attempts to answer these questions by analyzing business reactions to the crisis through the lens of GVCs. After reviewing the mechanisms underpinning the transmission of economic shocks in a world economy where trade and GVCs play increasing roles, the book assesses the impact of the crisis on global trade, production, and demand in a variety of sectors, including apparel, automobiles, electronics, commodities, and off-shore services. The book offers insights on the challenges and opportunities for developing countries, with a particular focus on entry and upgrading possibilities in GVCs postcrisis. Business strategies and related changes in GVCs are also examined, and the book offers concrete policy recommendations and suggests a number of interventions that would allow developing countries to better harness the benefits of the recovery. This volume is a useful tool for anyone interested in global trade, business, and development issues.

The Cost of Being Landlocked: Logistics Costs and Supply Chain ReliabilityThe Cost of Being Landlocked: Logistics Costs and Supply Chain Reliability
by Jean Francois Arvis, Jean-Francois Marteau, Gael Raballand, July 2010
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This book proposes a new analytical framework to interpret and model the constraints faced by logistics chains in landlocked countries. The case of LLDCs has naturally received special attention for decades, including a specific set of development priorities based on the idea of dependence over the transit state. In this context, efforts to tackle the cost of being landlocked have been mainly directed to ensure or facilitate freedom of transit through regional/multilateral conventions, and to develop regional transport infrastructure. In contrast, analysis of service delivery constraints has been seriously neglected and could explain the disappointing implementation of regional transit agreements and massive investments in corridors for exports diversification in landlocked economies.

Rebalacing the Global Economy: A Primer for PolicymakingRebalancing the Global Economy: A Primer for Policymaking
by Stijn Claessens, Simon J Evenett, Bernard Hoekman, June 2010
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This e-book aims to provide policymakers and their advisers with up-to-date, comprehensive analyses of the central facets of global economic imbalances and to identify and evaluate potential national and systemic responses to this challenge.
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edited by Guido Porto and Bernard M. Hoekman, 2010Trade Adjustment Costs in Developing Countries: Impacts, Determinants and Policy Responses 
by Bernard Hoekman and Guido Porto, June 2010
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This book summarizes the state of knowledge in the economic literature on trade and development regarding the costs of adjustment to trade openness and how adjustment takes place in developing countries. The contributions by leading experts look at:

  • the magnitude of trade adjustment costs in the presence of frictions in factor markets;
  • the impacts of trade shocks and greater trade openness;
  • the factors that affect the way trade, especially exports, adjust;
  • trade adjustment assistance programs in the U.S. and compensation schemes for farmers in the EU.

Trade in Services Negotiations - A Guide for Developing CountriesTrade in Services Negotiations: A Guide for Developing Countries
by Sebastian Saez, June 2010
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This book aims at contributing to address some of the challenge that developing countries, especially the least-developing countries, face in the design of trade in service policies and to provide governments with tools to better incorporate services in their export strategies, including negotiations and cooperation with trading partners, and unilateral reforms.

This book also helps to identify key policy challenges faced by developing country trade negotiators, regulatory policy officials and/or service suppliers. Management of both policy reforms and trade agreements requires investments in sounder regulatory regimes and the establishment of enforcement mechanisms to help countries gradually opening and mitigate any potential downside risks. A successful strategy requires a proper sequencing that through an orderly and transparent process allows to prepare for greater competition.

International Trade in ServicesInternational Trade in Services: New Trends and Opportunities for Developing Countries
by Olivier Cattaneo, Michael Engman, Sebastian Saez, Robert Stern, June 2010
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This book provides useful guidelines for the assessment of a country's trade potential, and a roadmap for successful opening and export promotion in select services sectors. It looks at both the effects of increased imports and exports, and provides concrete examples of developing country approaches that have either succeeded or failed to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of opening. It focuses on sectors that have been rarely analyzed through the trade lens, and/or have a fast growing trade potential for developing countries. These sectors are: accounting, construction, distribution, engineering, environmental, health, information technology, and legal services.

Financial Services and Preferential Trade Agreements: Lessons from Latin AmericaFinancial Services and Preferential Trade Agreements: Lessons from Latin America
by Mona E. Haddad, Constantinos Stephanou, June 2010
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This volume chronicles the recent experience of governments in the Latin American region that have successfully completed financial services negotiations in the context of regional trade agreements. It aims at providing policymakers and negotiators with a better understanding of the complexities involved in financial services negotiations and a deeper understanding of the substantive issues related to financial services liberalization within a regional context, the process negotiators have to go through, and likely effects of financial market opening within regional agreements.

The book fills an important gap in the literature on trade in services by focusing attention on the dynamics of trade and investment liberalization in a sector of considerable technical complexity and regulatory intensity A? financial services; among a sample of countries (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica) from a A?first moverA? region in the financial services liberalization front A? Latin America; and in the confines of one specific type of negotiating setting A? preferential trade agreements.

Food Prices and Rural Poverty, edited by B.Hoekman and A.AksoyFood Prices and Rural Poverty
by M. Ataman Aksoy and Bernard M. Hoekman, May 2010
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The impact of food price changes depend on the income sources of households and the second order responses of consumers and producers. This book tries to generate new information derived from household data on the income sources, behavior of food prices, and case studies on the impacts of food price changes on poor households and countries. The authors show that international price increases were not passed on to domestic food prices and international prices have been high only for 10 of the last 60 years. Food sales constitute one of the biggest cash incomes for poor rural households, and agricultural households, however defined, are much poorer than non agricultural ones. Net food sellers are also poorer than net food buyers so lower prices help richer net buyers and hurt the poorer net sellers. Impact of high food prices on the imports of poorer developing countries is very small, less than 1 percent of GDP.

Case studies on the impact of price changes show that poor households can gain in Vietnam with price increases and with price decreases in Bangladesh. They also show that households can change their net buying or selling status so the estimates based on one period household data can be very misleading. All these results suggest that increases in food prices might be good for the rural areas and for the poor which are predominantly located in these areas.

Trade Competitiveness in Middle East and North AfricaTrade Competitiveness of the Middle East and North Africa: Policies for Export Diversification
by José R López-Cálix, Peter Walkenhorst, Ndiamé Diop, 2010
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Over the past decade, four major developments in global economic integration have shaped trade policy and the economic performance of countries within the Middle East and North Africa region: the emergence of global supply chains, the growth of trade in services, the rise of China and India as major international trading powers, and regional integration. These developments, along with the labor and natural resource endowments of particular countries (some are resource-poor but labor-abundant, some resource-rich and labor-abundant, and some resource-rich and labor-importing), have influenced export diversification outcomes across the region. Yet these countries may not be taking full advantage of all of the opportunities the four new trends offer to them.

Trade Competitiveness of the Middle East and North Africa: Policies for Export Diversification examines the region's trade policy agendas and their results by focusing on the countries' response to these four key developments in international trade. As the region recovers from the global financial and economic crises, the book identifies reforms that could allow countries to further strengthen global production networks, benefit more from trade in services, better compete in external markets to face the rise of China and India, and reach the full potential of regional integration. If thoroughly implemented, especially by oil exporters, all of these reforms could help boost growth and job creation in the region.

Agricultural Price Distortions, Inequality, and Poverty
Agricultural Price Distortions, Inequlity and Povery by Kym Anderson, John Cockburn, Will Martin, March 2010by Kym Anderson, John Cockburn, Will Martin, March 2010
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Trade policy reforms in recent decades have sharply reduced the distortions that were harming agriculture in developing countries. Yet global trade in farm products continues to be far more distorted than trade in nonfarm goods, and in ways that reduce some forms of poverty and inequality but worsen others, so the net effects are unclear without empirical modeling.

Using a new set of estimates of agricultural price distortions, this book brings together economy-wide global and national empirical studies that focus on the net effects of the remaining distortions to world merchandise trade on poverty and inequality globally and in various developing countries. The global LINKAGE model results suggest that removing remaining distortions would reduce international inequality, largely by boosting net farm incomes and raising real wages for unskilled workers in developing countries, and would reduce the number of poor people worldwide by 3 percent. More about Distortions to Agricultural Incentives >>


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