Impact Evaluation of Trade Interventions: Paving the Way

45 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Olivier Cadot

Olivier Cadot

University of Lausanne - School of Economics and Business Administration (HEC-Lausanne); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); World Bank

Ana M. Fernandes

World Bank - International Trade Division; World Bank

Julien Gourdon

OECD

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: November 1, 2011

Abstract

The focus of trade policy has shifted in recent years from economy-wide reductions in tariffs and trade restrictions toward targeted interventions to facilitate trade and promote exports. Most of these latter interventions are based on the new mantra of "aid-for-trade" rather than on hard evidence on what works and what does not. On the one hand, rigorous impact-evaluation is needed to justify these interventions and to improve their design. On the other hand, rigorous evaluation is feasible because unlike traditional trade policy, these interventions tend to be targeted and so it is possible to construct treatment and control groups. When interventions are not targeted, such as in the case of customs reforms, some techniques, such as randomized control trials, may not be feasible but meaningful evaluation may still be possible. Theis paper discusses examples of impact evaluations using a range of methods (experimental and non-experimental), highlighting the particular issues and caveats arising in a trade context, and the valuable lessons that are already being learned. The authors argue that systematically building impact evaluation into trade projects could lead to better policy design and a more credible case for "aid-for-trade."

Keywords: Economic Theory & Research, Trade Policy, Transport Economics Policy & Planning, Poverty Monitoring & Analysis, Free Trade

Suggested Citation

Cadot, Olivier and Fernandes, Ana Margarida and Gourdon, Julien and Mattoo, Aaditya, Impact Evaluation of Trade Interventions: Paving the Way (November 1, 2011). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5877, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1957034

Olivier Cadot

University of Lausanne - School of Economics and Business Administration (HEC-Lausanne) ( email )

Unil Dorigny, Batiment Internef
Lausanne, 1015
Switzerland
+41 21 692 3463 (Phone)
+41 21 692 3495 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Ana Margarida Fernandes

World Bank - International Trade Division

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/afernandes

Julien Gourdon

OECD ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Room MC 3-327
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8047 (Phone)
202-676-9810 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/amattoo

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