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Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister, Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, and Theodore Pierre Bikoi
This paper assesses external trade statistics in Lao PDR by looking at mirror statistics, and with reference to international experience in compilation and dissemination of external trade data. We find that exports could be underreported by 8 to 50 percent, while imports could be underreported by 30 to 70 percent, and the trade deficit could be 20 percent to 280 percent higher. Underreporting is concentrated in trade with major partners, including Thailand (17 percent of total trade), China (10 percent of total trade) and Vietnam (3 percent of total trade). On the export side, underreporting is concentrated in wood and wood products, while for imports it is concentrated in a much wider variety of products, including food, fuel, vehicles, machinery, chemical products, plastics and rubber, and construction materials. Possible sources and implications of these discrepancies are discussed.
Mr. Nizar Jouini and Mr. Nooman Rebei
We propose an integrated method based on a two-sector small open economy dynamic and stochastic general equilibrium model to estimate non-tariff barriers and quantify the impact of services liberalization. The major component of trade barriers is explicitly modeled through the introduction of entry-sunk costs. Hence, liberalization is treated assuming a government's policy decision aimed at reducing those costs. Then, we estimate the model using Bayesian techniques for Tunisia and the Euro Area. The paper presents a precise quantitative evaluation of services trade barriers as the difference between entry-sunk costs in Tunisia versus the Euro Area. We find significant welfare benefits in addition to aggregate and sectoral growth gains the Tunisian economy could attain following services liberalization. Surprisingly, the goods sector is the one that benefits the most from services liberalization in the short- and long-term horizons.
Ms. Maria-Angels Oliva
This paper studies the structure and evolution of trade protection in the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries in the 1990s. MENA countries use tariffs and nontariff barriers, and tariff dispersion and nontariff barriers, as substitute protection measures. Tariff levels and tariff dispersion are complements. Excluding Tunisia, the cross-country correlation between tariff and nontariff barriers is -0.46. The correlation between tariff dispersion and nontariff barriers is -0.8. The paper also develops an overall index of trade protection and finds that tariff levels, their dispersion, and nontariff barriers account for 60 percent, 10 percent, and 30 percent of overall protection, respectively.
Jean-François Ruhashyankiko
This paper explores the link between exchange rate volatility of European currencies and economic performance of several countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The elimination of intra euro-zone exchange rate volatility resulting from the introduction of the euro is estimated to affect the production structure of MENA economies and shift their exports from manufacturing to agriculture and services. At the country and industry levels, the impact of the euro is more striking in countries with higher shares of manufacturing and higher shares of exports to the euro zone.
Sayuri Shirai
Using the international input-output tables between Japan and five Pacific Basin countries (Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand) for the years 1975 and 1985, the paper examines the trade structure in 1975 and how it had shifted by 1985. It shows that intra-industry trade in manufactured products expanded as Japan increased imports of more capital-intensive products from these countries. Intra-industry trade of intermediate inputs increased substantially more than of final products, reflecting a trend by manufacturers to subdivide the production process of intermediate inputs and to shift their locations to different countries. This suggests a more active development of international labor in the intermediate stages of production and a deepening of regional linkages.