Ms. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek and Mr. Julian Berengaut
The paper analyzes the initial output decline in transition economies by estimating a crosssection model stressing two major factors-conflicts and the legacies of the Soviet period. We link the Soviet legacies in place at the outset of the transition to the subsequent path for the development of market-related institutions. Institutional development (as proxied by measures of corruption) is used as an intermediate variable. An instrumental variable approach is followed to derive estimates that are not biased by the possible endogeneity of corruption with respect to output developments. Assuming that the extent of Soviet legacies was positively correlated with the length of the communist rule allows us to use the years under the Soviet regime as an instrument.
This paper looks at the progress in transition and the geographic diversification of trade, focusing on two issues--the degree of trade openness and trade integration--for a sample of countries in transition. It concludes that about half of the group of countries sampled are becoming as open as similar market economies, but that many others remain relatively closed. Geographic diversification (to the European Union) is found to be greater the closer is geographic proximity and the more advanced the country is with reforms. The analysis is then extended, in an illustrative way, to show how much larger would be the share of exports to the EU if structural reforms were more ambitious.
Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Aliona Cebotari, Xiaodan Ding, and Andras Komaromi
The paper applies a network analysis framework to analyze the regional and global
integration of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. We compare network-based
measures of trade integration to conventional measures, decomposing integration along
several dimensions to better understand the sources of trade connectivity and their impact on
growth. The paper finds that LAC countries are relatively well integrated in terms of links to
diversified markets, but the strength of those links is weak. Comparing trade integration to
predictions from gravity models, we find many LAC countries have significant scope to
improve connectivity and increase their roles in regional and world trade networks.