Academic Reports

Academic Reports keeps you informed on the research done by Atlas’ partners, and frontier scholarly papers on international trade.

shanghai-nightThe latest macro-economy special report — Global Trade Unbundled from Standard Charter says China will become the world’s biggest champion of free trade. The report says the country has become the world’s first “true mega trader” since Britain in the 1800s and its economy is highly dependent on opening up market overseas and at home for is domestic growth.  The report has also show optimism on a new round of trade liberalization driving primarily by emerging market. Emerging markets (EMs) now account for 42% of world exports, up from 19% from 1990, or 52% excluding intra-EU trade. Asia has firmly established itself as the centre of the ‘ made in the world” vertical global supply chain, the report stated. Read the full text: Click here

bulletin AFTThe Brussels-based European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) has published its latest Bulletin, entitled Trade and logistics: A “Bali Package” for the EU. Now that the nature of trade is changing from shipping final goods to the transport of a myriad of inputs through global supply chains, the concept of trade costs is altering too. This shift has reduced the importance of policy barriers ‘at the border’. This report by dr. Erik van der Marel highlights the growing impact of barriers to trade ‘before’ and ‘behind’ the border for EU countries.

The report suggests that the EU needs to manage the international segmentation of production, linking its own internal productions processes to global markets. In order to facilitate this, it should focus on three areas: improving logistics performance; reduce and harmonize the cost of doing trade across the EU; and improve the overall connectivity of the transport network across the 28-nation bloc.

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Hong Kong at eveningCapital Doldrums: How Globalisation is Bypassing New Zealand is the latest foreign direct investment report released by The New Zealand Initiative. This report is the second of three that aims to promote public debate about New Zealand’s global links, including the contentious issues of foreign ownership and net external indebtedness. It argues that New Zealand has been left behind in the continuing international growth in cross-border investment since the mid-1990s. The country must excel in its policy settings and in providing an attractive and stable investment environment if it is to make up for its lack of market size, market growth, and remoteness. Read the full text: Click here

passport-stampsPublished as a working paper by the Cairo-based Economic Research Forum, Effects of NTMs on the Extensive and Intensive Margins to Trade: The Case of Tunisia and Egypt examines the impact of Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) on Tunisian and Egyptian imports. Despite the liberalization of merchandise trade flows and the reduction of tariffs over the past thirty years, NTMs continue to pose a barrier to trade. By using a traditional gravity model of international trade, the working paper concludes that NTMs have been used more extensively in Egypt than Tunisia as trade restriction measures. Read the full text: Click here

iStock_000017987370MediumThe latest WTO Report on G-20 Trade Measures examines the period between mid-May and mid-November 2013. It identifies 116 new trade restrictions or measures that have been adopted by G-20 countries during this time; an increase from 109 in the preceding seven-month period. Concurrently, the number of trade liberalization and facilitation measures adopted dipped to 33 percent of all adopted measures, from the previous period’s 40 percent. The report concludes that trade restrictions are on the rise, and urges the G-20 economies to show leadership in reinvigorating the multilateral trading system as the best guarantee of economic growth and measure against protectionism. Read the full text: Click here

IMG_6035Women and Trade in Africa:  Realizing the Potential:Women carry goods across borders, produce products, especially food, that can be exported, and own and manage trade-oriented firms. But these producers and traders often face specific constraints that undermine their economic activities. Women traders working in the informal sector are often subject to harassment and extortion at the border. Women are more readily denied access to key trader networks than men. Time-consuming trade procedures and documentary requirements impinge more heavily on women, given the time they need for their household duties.  Read the full text:  Click here

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 4.28.28 PMThe Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013 is being released amid a long period of economic uncertainty. The tentative recovery that seemed to be gaining ground during 2010 and the first half of 2011 has given way to renewed concerns. The global economy faces a number of significant and interrelated challenges that could hamper a genuine upturn after an economic crisis half a decade long in much of the world, especially in the most advanced economies.  The Report contributes to an understanding of the key factors that determine economic growth, helps to explain why some countries are more successful than others in raising income levels and opportunities for their respective populations, and offers policymakers and business leaders an important tool in the formulation of improved economic policies and institutional reforms.

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Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 4.23.48 PMThis 10th edition of the Doing Business report, Doing Business 2013 Smaller Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, marks a good time to take stock— to look at how far the world has come in business regulatory practices and what challenges remain. In the first report one of the main findings was that low-income economies had very cumbersome regulatory systems. Ten years later it is apparent that business regulatory practices in these economies have been gradually but noticeably converging toward the more efficient practices common in higher- income economies. How much has the gap narrowed? Did some regions close the regulatory gap more rapidly than others? This year’s report tells that story. It points to important trends in regulatory reform and identifies the regions and economies making the biggest improvements for local entrepreneurs.

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Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 4.14.42 PMThe World trade Organization (WTO) and the multilateral trading system that it administers are in deep trouble. The collapse of the Doha Round in particular highlights the extent of its decline. After 10 years Doha has failed – the first Round to do so absolutely. The WTO is verging on becoming irrelevant and a relic of past decades when it usefully contributed to global liberalization and a multilateral non- discriminatory rules-based world trading system. This report names the WTO’s key shortcomings and identifies some fundamental requirements for the restoration of the WTO’s role in managing the global trading system. It states the way forward lies principally in the return of the primacy of the MFN and unilateral trade liberalization frameworks supported by a sincere commitment by Members to domestic transparency of existing and proposed trade initiatives.  To learn more read Can the World Trade Organization be Saved? Only if Australia and Other Members Stop Trashing It.

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Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 4.38.07 PMWhat do Undergrads Need to Know about Trade? by Paul Krugman

Few of the undergraduates who take an introductory course in economics will go on to graduate study in the field, and indeed most will not even take any higher-level economics courses. So what they learn about economics will be what they get in that first course. It is now more important than ever before that their basic training include a solid grounding in the principles of international trade. I could justify this assertion by pointing out that international trade is now more important to the U.S. economy than it used to be. But there is another reason, which I think is even more important: the increasedperception among the general public that international trade is a vital subject. We live in a time in which Americans are obsessed with international competition, in which Lester Thurow’s Head to Head is the nonfiction best-seller and Michael Crichton’s Rising Sun tops the fiction list. The news media and the business literature are saturated with discussions of America’s role in the world economy. The problem is that most of what a student is likely to read or hear about international economics is nonsense. What I want to argue in this paper is that the most important thing to teach our undergrads about trade is how to detect that nonsense. That is, our primary mission should be to vaccinate the minds of our undergraduates against the misconceptions that are so predominant in what passes for educated discussion about international trade. 

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The economic benefits from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership are estimated to be $125 billion annually on each side of the Atlantic.  Yet with tough issues such as regulatory process convergence, data protection/privacy, and GMO’s on the table can the TTIP negotiations succeed? A key to this lies in setting and achieving discrete goals with discrete deadlines—three smaller, successive agreements reached and implemented every two years by harvesting the lowest-hanging fruit first.  Gain greater insight on a potential path to TTIP’s attainment by reading The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A Roadmap for Success by Daniel Ikenson of Cato Institute.

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Screen shot 2013-10-21 at 4.37.33 PMHow is poverty related to trade liberalization? Anthony Enisan Akinlo, Gabriel Adeleke and Aremo from department of Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria has recently published a report on The Effect of Trade Liberalisation on Some Selected Poverty Indicators in Nigeria (1980-2009): Generalised Method of Moments (GMM) Approach. Below is the abstract:  The paper examined the effect of trade liberalisation on some key identified poverty indicators in Nigeria within the period of 1980 and 2009 with a view to determining whether the trade policy as practised in Nigeria over the study period has really significantly impacted on the state of poverty. The methodology applied was Generalised Method of Moments. The findings show that trade liberalisation, in Nigeria, did not contribute significantly to poverty reduction. It is therefore pertinent that a firmer and realistic approach aimed at regularly assessing the progress made in implementing trade liberalisation programmes through effective supervision and monitoring of programmes directed at reining in on poverty be pursued.

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Screen shot 2013-10-21 at 4.42.32 PMThe United State is currently negotiating two massive regional trade pact: The Trans-Pacific Partnership ( trade pact with 11 Asian and Pacific countries) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership  (trade pact with 28 European Union members). Together, the 40 country comprises the lion’s share of the global economy. Hopes for regional pacts reignited debates over whether free trade helps creates or cost U.S. jobs and helps or hurts human rights. To gain more insights on the on-going trade talks from in-depth report on U.S Trade Policy: Will New Trade Agreement Create American Jobs?

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Screen shot 2013-10-21 at 4.25.21 PMNotwithstanding the economic crisis, world trade has increased dramatically over the past decade, rising almost threefold since 2002 to reach about 18 trillion USD in 2011. Developed countries continue to constitute the main players in international trade, however developing countries account for an increasing share. As of 2011 almost half of world trade has originated from developing countries. The newly published report from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD): Key Trends in International Merchandise Trade has mapped out for you the overall trends in international trade across regions and sectors and important indicators related to trade flows across countries.

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