2 new OECD publications on innovation and technology

In January and February 2015, OECD launched two new publications relating to innovation and technology — Social Impact Investment and The Proliferation of “Big Data” and the Implications for Official Statistics and Statistical Agencies.


Social Impact Investment: Building the Evidence Base looks a rising field, the provision of finance to organisations addressing social needs with the explicit expectation of a measurable social, and financial, return. The report produced by OECD includes data on social needs and spending in the G7 countries plus Australia, to illustrate the gap this type of investment could fill in areas of growing importance such as aged care and social housing and how this investment could garner more development capital for poorer countries.

The full report is available from the OECD website and an online webinar presenting this report will be held on 4 March 2015 (for more details, contact lgustafson@thegiin.org). More information on social impact investment can be found on a dedicated page of the OECD website.


In light of the increased digitization of media, social and economic activities are generating a tidal wave of data. The Proliferation of “Big Data” and the Implications for Official Statistics and Statistical Agencies describes the potential of new sources of data for informing policy-making and outlines the challenges for official statistics and statistical policies, posed by the proliferation of data.

The full report is available online from the OECD website.

The impact of air service agreement liberalisation : the case of Nigeria

The positive impact of air transport liberalization as suggested by economic theories and empirical studies has inspired many developing countries like Nigeria to liberalize some of its Air Service Agreements (ASAs). This paper seeks to examine the extent to which international air service liberalization has impacted upon Nigeria ten years after it was introduced. The research developed a cross-sectional model with passenger traffic as the dependent variable, while macroeconomic factors (trade and GDP), historical links, distance and ASAs served as independent or predictor variables. The analysis revealed a set of ASA stages in the country’s policy-making process.

Full-text available in .pdf

Connecting African urban areas: airline networks and intra-Sub-Saharan trade

Despite efforts to enhance the efficiency of the African air transportation sector through such actions the Yamoussoukro Decision, African represents less than 2% of the world’s air passenger kilometers. This is despite the fact that air transportation can act as a means of transporting traded goods directly (including the individuals that are the “product” of tourism) and provide complementary services of labor mobility for those engaged in the production of more bulky goods that are shipped by land and maritime modes. We examine the network of intra-Sub-Saharan African airline connections to highlight the differential access enjoyed by the region’s largest cities. Second, we develop a quantitative framework linking the availability of air connections to the main international trade flows in sub-Sahara Africa. Our findings suggest that, although there is a positive link between air transportation and economic development in Africa, the multilateral efforts at reducing institutional impediments to more open aviation markets have not produced significant results.

Full-text available in .pdf

Factor proportions and the growth of world trade

Most of the expansion of global trade since 1980 has been of the North–South kind — between capital-abundant developed and labour-abundant developing countries. Based on this observation, I argue that the recent growth of world trade is best understood from a factor-proportions perspective. Using data on trade barriers and estimates of capital–labour ratios for a group of 45 economies between 1980 and 2008, I find that a calibrated factor-proportions model can generate significant trade growth during this period, amounting to 90% of the observed rise in North–South trade. The opening up of China alone accounts for three quarters of the predicted increase. In line with the model, I present evidence that China’s liberalisation has raised the exports and imports of capital-abundant countries relative to more labour-abundant economies. Overall, my findings suggest that factor-proportions theory may be useful for interpreting several quantitative and qualitative aspects of growing world trade in a period during which the group of large, open economies has become significantly less homogenous.

Full-text available in .pdf

The effect of product standards on agricultural exports

Analysis of the impact that food safety standards have on international exports of agricultural products.

Full-text available in .pdf

Embodied energy, export policy adjustment and China’s sustainable development: A multi-regional input-output analysis

China has surpassed the United States to be the world’s largest energy consumer, but a lot of energy was used to produce products for exporting to other countries. Presently, China faces a great challenge in energy security and environmental protection. This paper focuses on the energy embodied in China’s foreign trade with a multi-regional input–output approach.

Full-text available in .pdf

A framework for transparency in international trade

The aim of this paper is to cover the gap in literature about transparency in the context of international trade facilitation. It focuses on the importance of transparency in achieving growth in international trade and the differences between non-transparent practices and corruption in global trade.

Full-text available in .pdf