Trade Facilitation

Trade Facilitation

Defining, Measuring, Explaining and Reducing the Cost of International Trade

Patricia Sourdin and Richard Pomfret

This up-to-date and informative book provides a comprehensive treatment of the costs of trading across borders and of trade facilitation policies. While traditional tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade have been reduced, international trade continues to involve higher costs in money and time than domestic trade. These include not only transport costs, that are determined by distance and commodity characteristics, but also at-the-border and behind-the-border costs which can be reduced by appropriate policies. Research on trade costs has flourished since the turn of the century, and this book by Patricia Sourdin and Richard Pomfret, takes stock of our increased knowledge of the nature and magnitude of trade costs, analysing why they are high and how they can be reduced to increase the gains from trade.

Preface

Patricia Sourdin and Richard Pomfret

Subjects: economics and finance, international economics

Extract

Even though trade costs are currently of great interest, little is known about the magnitude, determinants, and consequences of trade costs. Jacks et al., 2009, p. 3 This book is about measuring and explaining the size of trade costs, which is a separate question from theorizing about or estimating the consequences of trade costs, although the two literatures obviously overlap. Chapters 2 and 3 primarily report our own published work, drawing conceptually on the seminal paper by David Hummels (2007) advocating the cif–fob measure of trade costs and utilizing the relatively scarce appropriate national trade statistics. We are grateful to the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide for purchasing the data on which our cif–fob calculations are based. Patricia Sourdin also contributed to companion papers written for various research projects at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), coordinated by Jane Korinek; at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), coordinated by Misa Okabe and So Umezaki; and for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), coordinated by Christopher Findlay. Papers developing the methodology and presenting our results have been presented at workshops and conferences organized by the International Economics Association in Istanbul (2008), the American Committee on Asian Economic Studies in Rimini (2008), the Forum for Research in Empirical International Trade in Melbourne (2009), the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia in Jakarta (2010), and the European Trade Study Group in Lausanne (2010), as well as in seminars at the Universities of...