A New Look at the Extensive Trade Margin Effects of Trade Facilitation

Staff Working Paper ERSD-2014-16, World Trade Organization

52 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2014 Last revised: 22 Oct 2014

See all articles by Cosimo Beverelli

Cosimo Beverelli

World Trade Organization (WTO); European University Institute

Simon Neumueller

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Robert Teh

World Trade Organization (WTO)

Date Written: October 18, 2014

Abstract

We estimate the effects of trade facilitation on extensive margins of trade. Using OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators – which closely reflect the Trade Facilitation Agreement negotiated at the Bali WTO Ministerial Conference of December 2013 – we show that trade facilitation in a given exporting country is positively correlated with the number of products exported by destination and with the number of export destinations served by product. To address the issue of causality, we employ an identification strategy whereby only exports of new products, or exports to new destinations, are taken into account when computing the respective margins of trade. Our findings therefore imply a positive causal impact of trade facilitation on the country-level extensive margins of trade. The results are, to a large extent, robust to alternative definitions of country-level trade margins, to different sets of controls variables and to various estimation methods. Simulating the effect of an increase to the regional or global median values of trade facilitation, we are able to quantify the potential extensive margin gains of trade facilitation reform in different regions.

Keywords: Trade facilitation, Export diversification, International trade agreements, WTO

JEL Classification: F13, F14, F17

Suggested Citation

Beverelli, Cosimo and Neumueller, Simon and Teh, Robert, A New Look at the Extensive Trade Margin Effects of Trade Facilitation (October 18, 2014). Staff Working Paper ERSD-2014-16, World Trade Organization. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2511573 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2511573

Cosimo Beverelli (Contact Author)

World Trade Organization (WTO) ( email )

Rue de Lausanne 154
Geneva, 1202
Switzerland

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

Simon Neumueller

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies ( email )

Maison de la paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2
Geneva, CH-1202
Switzerland

Robert Teh

World Trade Organization (WTO) ( email )

154 Rue de Lausanne
CH-1211 Geneva 21
Switzerland

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