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I develop a model of firm-to-firm search and matching to show that the impact of falling trade costs on firm sourcing decisions and consumer welfare depends on the relative size of search externalities in domestic and international markets. These externalities can be positive if firms share information about potential matches, or negative if the market is congested. Using unique firm-to-firm transaction-level data from Uganda, I document empirical evidence consistent with positive externalities in international markets and negative externalities in domestic markets. I then build a dynamic quantitative version of the model and show that, in Uganda, a 25% reduction in trade costs led to a 3.7% increase in consumer welfare, 12% of which was due to search externalities.
Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Aliona Cebotari, Xiaodan Ding, and Andras Komaromi
The paper applies a network analysis framework to analyze the regional and global integration of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. We compare network-based measures of trade integration to conventional measures, decomposing integration along several dimensions to better understand the sources of trade connectivity and their impact on growth. The paper finds that LAC countries are relatively well integrated in terms of links to diversified markets, but the strength of those links is weak. Comparing trade integration to predictions from gravity models, we find many LAC countries have significant scope to improve connectivity and increase their roles in regional and world trade networks.
Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, Mr. Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne, and Rafael Romeu
The Cuban revolution and the subsequent US embargo on Cuba helped shape the tourism sector in the Caribbean, facilitating the birth and growth of alternative destinations. Therefore, the apprehension of the Caribbean tourism industry towards a change in US travel policy to Cuba is understandable, but likely unwarranted. The history of tourism in the region has shown that it is possible for all destinations to grow despite large changes in market shares. Our estimations show that liberalizing US-Cuba tourism could result in US arrivals to Cuba of between 3 and 5.6 million, most of it coming from new tourists to the region. We also identify the destinations most at risk of changes in US-Cuba relations.
Ms. Yan M Sun
This paper examines the size and source of external spillovers to Australia and New Zealand based on a structural vector autoregression (VAR) approach. It finds that during the last decade shocks from emerging Asia have become more important than those from the United States in affecting Australia’s business cycle. A 1 percent shock to emerging Asia’s growth is found to shift Australian growth by about 1/3 percent. Furthermore, there is evidence that commodity prices dominate the transmission of shocks from emerging Asia to Australia. The influence of emerging Asia on New Zealand is found to come indirectly through Australia, with Australian shocks transmitting almost "one-on-one" to New Zealand, largely through financial factors.
Sanjay Kalra
The paper characterizes trade exposure and regional integration in six ASEAN economies during 1997-2008. For this, the paper uses the 2000 Asian Input Output Tables which are extrapolated using National Income Accounts and COMTRADE data. On the demand side, the paper shows that the level and geographical nature of external exposure varies across the ASEANs, and has changed over time. In particular, there was a shift in the external demand exposure of ASEANs from mature markets, including the United States, to China and ROW. In addition, the share of China in East Asia’s final demand, especially investment, rose sharply while that of Japan fell. On the supply side, the paper documents the rise of China into a “global factory” and the steady shift in regional production and integration from Japan and the United States to China.
Ms. Isabelle Mejean, Thierry Mayer, and Benjamin Nefussi
Economists interested in location choices usually focus their attention on investments abroad. This neglects the fact that multinational enterprises continue to invest domestically while undertaking foreign expansion. This paper compares investments at home and abroad. Our firm-level dataset shows an important home bias in productive investments. Part of this "excessive" domestic investment is explained by standard determinants of location choices. The interdependence between affiliates of the same industrial group however accounts for the lion's share of the home bias. Moreover, French firms' propensity to invest abroad is positively related to their productivity and the size of their intangible assets.
Kingsley I. Obiora
Should policymakers still be concerned about economic growth in trading partners? Have developing and emerging market countries decoupled from the US enough to grow despite significant recession in the US? Using VAR models, this paper addresses these questions for Nigeria in the context of the global crisis. The results seem to debunk the "decoupling theory" and suggest there are still significant spillovers from Nigeria's main trading partners, including the US, with trade and commodity price linkages being the dominant transmission channels. Given the sharp fall in both trade financing and commodity prices in aftermath of the crisis, these results provide some explanation to the realization of adverse second-round effects in Nigeria.
Ms. Kazuko Shirono
This paper examines the role of Japan against that of China in the exchange rate regime in East Asia in light of growing interest in forming a currency union in the region. The analysis suggests that currency unions with China tend to generate higher average welfare gains for East Asian countries than currency unions with Japan or the United States. Overall, Japan does not appear to be a dominant player in forming a currency union in East Asia, and this trend is likely to continue if China's relative presence continues to rise in the regional trade.
Ms. Aiko Mineshima and Mr. Christopher Browne