Costa Rica Five Years After CAFTA-DR: Assessing Early Results

Friederike (Fritzi) Koehler-Geib and Susana M. Sanchez. (2015) Costa Rica Five Years After CAFTA-DR: Assessing Early Results. World Bank. [doi]

Abstract:

For Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic-Central America-free trade agreement (CAFTA-DR) has been more than a trade agreement. Costa Rica has used trade liberalization and promotion of international trade as a core development strategy for decades. CAFTA-DR consolidated benefits that had previously been unilaterally extended under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) into a multilateral FTA, providing a much more stable environment for trade relationships. Beyond just being a trade agreement, CAFTA-DR brought about the opening of state monopolies in telecommunications and insurance, which polarized the country. No other trade agreement has generated as much controversy as this one about the potential impacts on the economy. Following a referendum with a small margin in favor of the agreement, Costa Rica was the last member country to ratify CAFTA-DR in 2009. Given the controversy at the time, the current study takes stock of the early impacts of CAFTA-DR during the five years since its ratification, addresses the following questions: What actual changes did the agreement bring about and what was their context? What was the impact of those changes on trade and FDI flows? How have the high tech, insurance, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical sectors been impacted?

Full-text of the publication is available in PDF, by chapter and in its entirety, through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.

The Little Data Book on Private Sector Development 2015

World Bank has now launched the 2015 edition of The Little Data Book on Private Sector Development. [doi]

Abstract:

The Little Data Book on Private Sector Development 2015 is a reliable cross-country data on aspects of private sector development, crucial in planning for economic recovery and growth. In targeting increased exports and investment, many governments prioritize an improved climate for business as a basis to attract capital, create jobs, and provide basic services. The availability of cross-country data on the business environment has rapidly expanded in recent years, including data from the World Bank Group s Doing Business project, Enterprise Surveys, and the Entrepreneurship Snapshots. Included in this guide are indicators on the economic and social context, the investment climate, private sector investment, finance and banking, and infrastructure. Though a pocket guide cannot include all relevant variables, the included indicators provide users with a general understanding of the private sector in each country. Indicators displayed in the tables are defined in the glossary, which also lists data sources.

Full-text of the book is available in PDF, by chapter or in its entirety, through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.

OECD on Trade and Trade Faciliation Tools

Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: The Potential Impact on Trade Costs is the latest policy assessment from the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate. Launched in June, this document examines the implications of implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement using OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators.

Also relating to trade facilitation, OECD has produced a range of background documents and suite of interactive tools. These include:

These documents, tools and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.

New statistical publications from OECD, June 2015

New OECD publications have been uploaded to the OECD iLibrary, a comprehensive digital repository of books, papers, and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Titles recently added include:

These volumes and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.

New publications from OECD, mid June 2015

New OECD publications have been uploaded to the OECD iLibrary, a comprehensive digital repository of books, papers, and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Titles recently added include:

These volumes and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.

Participation of Developing Countries in Global Value Chains

OECD has launched Participation of Developing Countries in Global Value Chains: Implications for Trade and Trade-Related Policies.  A new issue in their OECD Trade Policy Papers series, this report examining participation in global value chains by developing countries. The publication analyzes global value chain participation and policy in five developing sub-regions in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, highlighting differences and similarities between activities in these sub-regions. The paper may be of particular interest to policy makers and policy advisors in these regions, to help assess existing global value chain engagement and consider additional options.

In addition to the full paper, there is also a 20-page summary paper and a 4-page policy note, all available in electronic format through a WTO Library subscription to OECD iLibrary.

 

Przemyslaw Kowalski, Javier Lopez Gonzalez, Alexandros Ragoussis, and Cristian Ugarte. (2015) Participation of Developing Countries in Global Value Chains: Implications for Trade and Trade-Related Policies. [doi]

When Winners Feel Like Losers: Evidence From An Energy Subsidy Reform

Oscar Calvo-Gonzalez, Barbara Cunha and Riccardo Trezzi. (2015) “When Winners Feel Like Losers: Evidence From An Energy Subsidy Reform.” Policy Research Working Papers, no. 7265. [doi]

Abstract:

In 2011 the Government of El Salvador implemented a reform to the gas subsidy that increased the welfare of households in all but the top two deciles of the income distribution. However, the reform turned out to be rather unpopular, especially among winners. This paper relies on ad hoc household surveys conducted before the implementation and in the following two and a half years to test which factors help explain the puzzle. The analysis uses probit and logit models to show that misinformation (a negativity bias by which people with limited information inferred negative consequences), mistrust of the government’s ability to implement the policy, and political priors explain most of the (un)satisfaction before implementation. Perceptions improved gradually—and significantly so—over time when the subsidy reception induced households to update their initial priors, although political biases remained significant throughout the entire period. The results suggest several implications with respect to policy reforms in cases where agents have limited information.

Full-text article available in PDF through a subscription to the World Bank eLibrary.