Impact Evaluation of Trade Interventions: Paving the Way

46 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2011

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 Fernandes

University of Bern - Department of Economics

Julien Gourdon

OECD

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2011

Abstract

The focus of trade policy has shifted in recent years from economy-wide reductions in tariffs and trade restrictions towards 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 doesnÂ’t. 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. We discuss 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 learnt. We 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: aid for trade, export promotion, impact evaluation, propensity-score matching, randomized control trials, trade competitiveness, trade facilitation

JEL Classification: C23, F13, F14, L15, L25, O24

Suggested Citation

Cadot, Olivier and Fernandes, Ana and Gourdon, Julien and Mattoo, Aaditya, Impact Evaluation of Trade Interventions: Paving the Way (November 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8638. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1964128

Olivier Cadot (Contact Author)

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

Unil Dorigny, Batiment Internef
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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World Bank ( email )

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Ana Fernandes

University of Bern - Department of Economics ( email )

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Julien Gourdon

OECD ( email )

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France

Aaditya Mattoo

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

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United States
202-458-8047 (Phone)
202-676-9810 (Fax)

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

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