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Books published by Trade Reserch Team in 2007-2008

Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Latin America
Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Latin AmericaEdited by Alberto Valdes, Kym Anderson, October 2008
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The vast majority of the world's poorest households depend on farming for their livelihood. During the 1960s and 1970s, most developing countries imposed pro-urban and anti-agricultural policies, while many high-income countries restricted agricultural imports and subsidized their farmers. Both sets of policies inhibited economic growth and poverty alleviation in developing countries. Although progress has been made over the past two decades to reduce those policy biases, many trade- and welfare-reducing price distortions remain between agriculture and other sectors as well as within the agricultural sector of both rich and poor countries.

Comprehensive empirical studies of the disarray in world agricultural markets first appeared approximately 20 years ago. Since then the OECD has provided estimates each year of market distortions in high-income countries, but there has been no comparable estimates for the world's developing countries. This volume is the second in a series that not only fills that void for recent years but extends the estimates in a consistent and comparable way back in time -and provides analytical narratives for scores of countries that shed light on the evolving nature and extent of policy interventions over the past half-century.

Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Latin America provides an overview of the evolution of distortions to agricultural incentives caused by price and trade policies in the economies of South America, plus the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Together these countries constitute about 80 percent of the region’s population, agricultural output, and overall GDP. The title assesses the successes and failures of the past and evaluates policy options for the years ahead. More about Distortions to Agricultural Incentives >>


Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Europe's Transition Economies
for Books pageEdited by Kym Anderson and Johan Swinnen, June 2008
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This book provides an overview of the evolution of distortions to agricultural incentives caused by price and trade policies in the economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) that are transitioning away from central planning. It includes country and sub-regional studies of the ten transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe that joined the European Union in 2004 or 2007, of seven other large member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and of Turkey. Sectoral, trade and exchange rate policies in this region have been changed hugely since the dissolving of the Soviet Union in 1991, but much remains to be done to reduce trade barriers, and with it the anti-export bias in the policy regime of especially those countries exporting primary products. To progress reform - and to see how recent policies line up with those of the European Union (EU) - requires better information on the extent of progress during the past fifteen years and of current policy influences on incentives within and between sectors. Prior to their transition to market economies, policies in ECA countries greatly distorted producer and consumer incentives, especially for agricultural products. While those distortions have been reduced substantially in several countries, large variations remain - and distortions appear to be growing again in some of the countries. This book provides the necessary stocktake required for these countries - policymakers to be able to move reforms forward in an informed way. More about Distortions to Agricultural Incentives >>


Transparency and Trade Facilitation in the Asia Pacific - Estimating the Gains From Reform
bookcover for the books pageEdited by Matthias Helble, Ben Shepherd and John S. Wilson, 2007
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Improving transparency is a critical aspect of any structural reform and development agenda that supports economic integration goals. The principle of transparency can be applied to a wide range of policies affecting both border and behind-the-border" policies. Despite the central role of tranparency in support of economic development and trade, the relative impact of transparency and related issues have not been evaluated in a comprehensive way.

This study, funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), on transparency and regional integration addresses these issues in the Asia Pacific region. It finds that potential intra-regional trade gains in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) from improved transparency are substantial  - approximately $148 billion or 7.5% of 2004 trade. Action to improve transparency could be undertaken in many forms. This includes within the current APEC framework or any future talks on a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific. Reform going forward must continue to focus on lowering traditional barriers such as tariffs. Making the design and implementation of tarriffs, regulations, and other policies more transparent is also critical.

The World Bank Research Group has launched a Multi-Donor Trust Fund project on "Transparency and Competitiveness". This study is part of the broader project of policy research, analysis, and data collection.



From Competition at Home to Competing Abroad - A Case Study of India's Horticulture
for the books pageEdited by Aaditya Matoo, Deepak Mishra & Ashish Narain, 2007
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India has a large agricultural base. Yet its share in global agriculture exports is insignificant and its domestic market is increasingly protected. In global trade negotiations, India’s efforts have been directed more towards retaining the right to protect than towards eliminating distortions at home and abroad.

This report addresses the dilemma by studying the horticulture sector, one of the most dynamic segments of Indian agriculture and international trade. It undertakes an integrated analysis of the sector - from farm to retail -based on primary surveys of farmers, agents, and exporters across fifteen different Indian states. The study identifies three major impediments to exports:

  • The ‘logistical tax’ imposed by high farmer-to-consumer delivery costs, which erodes the production cost advantage enjoyed by Indian farmers;
  • The ‘standards gap’ between the stringent health, safety, and quality requirements of governments and buyers, especially in richer countries, and assessment mechanisms in India; and
  • Trade policy barriers that Indian exporters face in foreign markets.

Providing clear policy prescriptions the report recommends eliminating both the logistical tax and the standards gap. This will require the creation of an integrated and competitive domestic agricultural market, along with improved communication, transport, storage, distribution, and agricultural support services. Radical reform in services is, therefore, desirable not just for its own sake but for the transformation of India’s agricultural trade. Furthermore, the report advocates that providing farmers access to efficient services will strengthen the political case for agricultural trade liberalization and subsequent economic gains. A willingness to reform its own trade regime will enable India to take a more forceful position in the WTO negotiations, seeking not just significantly lower levels of foreign protection, but also much greater transparency, simplicity, and predictability in foreign trade regimes.



Natural Resources - Neither Curse nor Destiny
Daniel Lederman's book cover imageEdited by  Daniel Lederman, William F. Malloney, 2007
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For almost as long as economics has been a profession, the role of natural resources in the promotion of economic growth has been among the core issues of development theory. Some newer theories suggest that natural riches produce institutional weaknesses as various social groups attempt to capture the economic rents derived from the exploitation of natural resources. Since the 1960s, some analysts have argued that resource-rich developing countries have grown more slowly than other developing countries. Nevertheless, we find ourselves in a time when conventional wisdom again postulates that natural resources are indeed riches.


This book brings together a variety of analytical perspectives, ranging from econometric analyses of economic growth to historical studies of successful development experiences in countries with abundant natural resources. The evidence suggests that natural resources are neither a curse nor destiny. Natural resources can actually spur economic development when combined with the accumulation of knowledge for economic innovation. Furthermore, natural resource abundance need not be the only determinant of the structure of trade in developing countries. In fact, the accumulation of knowledge, infrastructure, and the quality of governance all seem to determine not only what countries produce and export, but how firms and workers produce any good.



A Handbook of International Trade in Services
book cover - Mattoo, Zanini, SternEdited by Aaditya Mattoo, Robert M. Stern, Gianni Zanini, 2007
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International trade and investment in services are an increasingly important part of global commerce. Advances in information and telecommunication technologies have expanded the scope of services that can be traded cross-border. Many countries now allow foreign investment in newly privatized and competitive markets for key infrastructure services, such as energy, telecommunications, and transport. More and more people are travelling abroad to consume tourism, education, and medical services, and to supply services ranging from construction to software development. In fact, services are the fastest growing components of the global economy, and trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) in services have grown faster than in goods over the past decade and a half. International transactions, however, continue to be impeded by policy barriers, especially to foreign investment and the movement of service-providing individuals. Developing countries in particular are likely to benefit significantly from further domestic liberalization and the elimination of barriers to their exports. In many instances, income gains from a reduction in protection to services may be far greater than from trade liberalization in goods. In light of the increasing importance of international trade in services and the inclusion of services issues on the agendas of the multilateral, regional and bilateral trade negotiations, there is an obvious need to understand the economic implications of services trade and liberalization.



The WTO And Reciprocal Preferential Trading Agreements
book image for the Books pageEdited by Caroline Freund, 2007
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This insightful volume is a careful selection of the major contributions to the controversy as to whether regional trade agreements harm the multilateral system of trade negotiation. It focuses on key topics such as: the theory of preferential trade agreements; regionalism and multilateralism; the effects of regionalism on the multilateral system; the effects of multilateralism on regionalism; rules of origin and empirical analyses. Scholars and practitioners alike will find this an invaluable set of papers.



The WTO And Poverty And Inequality
book cover for the Books pageEdited by L. Alan Winters, 2007
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This comprehensive two-volume collection presents key papers on the relationship between international trade and trade policy on the one hand, and poverty and inequality on the other. These relationships highlight the connections between the WTO and income distribution. The analytical and policy context of the volumes is laid out by the editor’s introduction and by the first two articles of the collection.




Services Trade and Development: The Experience of Zambia
Edited by Aaditya Mattoo and Lucy Payton, 2007
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Some see trade in services as irrelevant to the development agenda for least developed countries (LDCs). Others see few benefits from past market openings by LDCs. This book debunks both views. It finds that serious imperfections in Zambia's reform of services trade deprived the country of significant benefits and diminished faith in liberalization.

What is to be done? Move aggressively and consistently to eliminate barriers to entry and competition. Develop and enforce regulations to deal with market failures. And implement proactive policies to widen the access of firms, farms, and consumers to services of all kinds. These lessons from Zambia are applicable to all LDCs.

In all this, international agreements can help. But to succeed, LDCs must commit to open markets and their trading partners must provide assistance for complementary reforms. Zambia, which leads the LDC group at the World Trade Organization, can show the way. More >>


 


International Migration of Women
small book coverEdited by Maurice Schiff,  Andrew R. Morrison, Mirja Sjoblom, 2007
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The current share of women in the world’s international migrant population is close to one half. Despite the great number of female migrants, there has until recently been a striking lack of gender analysis in the economic literature on international migration and development. This volume makes a valuable contribution in this context by providing six new studies focusing on the nexus between gender, international migration and economic development. More information >> 
 


International Migration, Economic Development and Policy
International Migration, Economic Development and Policy book - thumbnailEdited by Caglar Ozden and Maurice Schiff, 2007
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International migration has become a central element of international relations and global integration process due to its rapidly increasing economic, social and cultural impact in both the source and destination countries. The purpose of this new book is to expand earlier work on migration and development both in terms of geography, methodology, and the issues examined.

This second research volume adds to the first volume (International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain, 2005) by expanding the number of countries covered, and by providing thinking on new topics such as the gender-differentiated impact of migration and remittances; the impact of migration on fertility rates in the country of origin; and temporary/return migration. More information >>



Global Trade & Poor Nations - The Poverty Impacts and Policy Implications of Liberalization
Editors Bernard M. Hoekman and Marcelo Olarreaga, 2007
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This thoughtful volume assesses the likely impact of reformed trade policies on the poorest of the poor - those on the bottom economic rungs in developing nations. The focus on a spectrum of poor nations across different regions provides some helpful and hopeful guidelines regarding the likely impacts of a global trade reform, agreed upon under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, as well as the impact of such reforms on economic development.

In order to facilitate lesson-drawing across different regions, each country study utilizes a similar methodology. They combine information on trade policy at the product level with income and consumption data at the household level, thus capturing effects both on the macro level and in individual households where development policies ideally should improve day-to-day life. This uniformity of research approach across the country studies allows for a deeper and more robust comparison of results.



Trade Preferences And Differential Treatment Of Developing Countries
thumbnail image for the Books pageEdited by Bernard Hoekman and Çaglar Özden, 2007
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It is always convenient to have collections of articles on a particular theme gathered together in one volume, and this book is no exception. Many of the papers are classics, ranging from the history of the global trading system, and institutional developments to help developing countries, to the pure theory of trade preferences. Hoekman and Özden have done teachers and practitioners of trade and development theory and policy a great service.
Tony Thirlwall, Keynes College, University of Kent, UK

A large literature on the subject of Special Differential Treatment (SDT) has emerged in the last 50 years by both proponents and opponents. The contributions to this volume focus on the rationale, institutional features and economic effectiveness of SDT. The editors have carefully selected a number of key articles with a special emphasis on evaluations of the impact of SDT, especially preferential market access, as well as more recent contributions which discuss whether there is a continued need for such special treatment and how it might be designed both from a development objective and from the perspective of the trading system generally.

The editors have written an authoritative new introduction which illuminates their choice and highlights the contribution of each article.



The World Trade Organization: Law, Economics, and Politics
for books page - thumbnail sizeEdited by Bernard M Hoekman, Petros C Mavroidis, 2007
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The World Trade Organization (WTO) is one of the most important international organizations in existence today. It contains a set of disciplines that affect the ability of governments to impose trade restrictions, and has helped to support the steady expansion of international trade since the 1950s. It is a unique organization in providing a framework for member states to make binding policy commitments that are enforced through a unique dispute settlement system and a variety of transparency mechanisms.

Despite - or because of - its success, the WTO has recently become the focus of vociferous protests by anti-globalization activists. This book separates the facts from the propaganda and provides an accessible overview of the WTO's history, structure and policies as well as a discussion of the future of the organization. It also confronts the criticisms of the WTO and assesses their validity.

The World Trade Organization is essential reading for students of international trade, international political economy, commercial law and international organizations as well as activists and others interested in a balanced account of a key global institution.

 

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