Expediting Trade: Impact Evaluation of an In-House Clearance Program

61 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016 Last revised: 30 Apr 2018

See all articles by Ana M. Fernandes

Ana M. Fernandes

World Bank - International Trade Division; World Bank

Russell H. Hillberry

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Claudia N. Berg

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Russell Henry Hillberry

Purdue University

Date Written: June 20, 2016

Abstract

Despite the importance of trade facilitation as an area of trade and development policy, there have been very few impact evaluations of specific trade facilitation reforms. This paper offers an evaluation of in-house clearance, a reform that allows qualified firms in Serbia to clear customs from within their own warehouse rather than at the customs office. The pooled synthetic control method applied here offers a novel solution to many of the empirical challenges that frustrate efforts to evaluate trade facilitation reforms. The method is used to estimate causal impacts on trade outcomes for 21 firms that adopted in-house clearance for import shipments. The program compressed the distribution of clearance times for adopting firms, but the estimated effects on median clearance times, inspection rates, and import value were not statistically significant. Tests for heterogeneous program impact do not indicate that the program affected adopting firms differently. Overall, the results suggest that the most evident benefit of the program for participating firms is reduced uncertainty about clearance times.

Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules, Trade Facilitation, Transport Services, Trade and Services, Trade Policy

Suggested Citation

Fernandes, Ana Margarida and Hillberry, Russell H. and Berg, Claudia N. and Hillberry, Russell Henry, Expediting Trade: Impact Evaluation of an In-House Clearance Program (June 20, 2016). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7708, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2811356

Ana Margarida Fernandes (Contact Author)

World Bank - International Trade Division

1818 H Street, N.W.
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United States

World Bank ( email )

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

Russell H. Hillberry

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Claudia N. Berg

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Russell Henry Hillberry

Purdue University ( email )

610 Purdue Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States

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