• Tariffs in a Globalized World: A Gamble Where Everybody Loses

  • Getting the Most out of Trade Liberalization: Evidence from Machine Learning and Threshold Models

  • How to Nurture the Next Generation of Exporters: The Role of Trade Intermediaries

  • The Annual Research Conference 2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Academic Excellence

  • Reading the Sea Leaves: What Do Ship Movements Tell Us about International Trade?

  • Interview with Antonio Spilimbergo, the Research Department’s New Deputy Director

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IMF RESEARCH perspectives


Deniz Igan Chris Papageorgiou

Guest Editor

Christina Kolerus

Assistant Editor

Patricia Loo

Editorial Assistant

Tracey Lookadoo


Rachel Zhang

Thomas McGregor

Yunhui Zhao

Parisa Kamali

Serkan Arslanalp

Marco Marini

Patrizia Tumbarello

Christina Kolerus

Cover, design, and layout

IMF CSF Creative Solutions Division

IMF Research Perspectives—the IMF online bulletin with news on—research is a biannual publication in English and is available exclusively online free of charge.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Material from this publication may be reprinted with proper attribution.

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Note from the guest editor

It has been two years since the trade tensions erupted and not only captured policymakers’ but also the research community’s attention. Research has quickly zoomed in on understanding trade war rhetoric, tariff implementation, and economic impacts. The first article in the December 2019 issue sheds light on the consequences of the recent trade barriers.

Yet developments in other parts of the world have charted very different trade trajectories, revealing various bright spots in the midst of trade war paralysis elsewhere. IMF researchers have tracked these paths and posed highly interesting research questions. They have led to Africa, where machine learning and threshold models are employed to understand the existing barriers to fully reaping the benefts offered by a newly created free trade area; to Asia, where data on Vietnamese companies reveal insights on building networks for local producers to export globally—providing lessons on export intermediaries that can be applied worldwide; and fnally to cargo vessels that travel across the world and turn into big data suppliers for constructing a global trade index.

This journey into trade research will not be the last, as researchers continue to follow the various trajectories.

~Christina Kolerus