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The Uncertain Gains from Trade Facilitation

Jeronim Capaldo
GDAE Policy Brief 13-02
December 2013
Download the Policy Brief

On December 3, trade ministers from members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will begin three days of meetings in Bali, Indonesia. Trade Facilitation, estimated to add $1 trillion to global income, features prominently in the negotiation agenda. However, official estimates depend on too many unjustifiable assumptions. Inaccuracy accumulates in several stages of the estimation process: in estimating the gains from trade facilitation for a sample of countries, in scaling up the gains to the global level and in estimating employment gains. This brief describes the estimation procedure and shows that the resulting figures are too uncertain to underpin any policy decisions.

Download "The Uncertain Gains from Trade Facilitation"

Further Analysis:

Support to WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement is Insufficient or Misdirected, Jeronim Capaldo, GDAE Policy Brief, July 25, 2014

Will the WTO fast-track trade at the expense of food security?, Timothy A. Wise and Jeronim Capaldo, Al Jazeera, July 24, 2014

Trade Hallucination: Risks of Trade Facilitation and Suggestions for Implementation, Jeronim Capaldo, GDAE Working Paper 14-01 June 2014

Read more on Modeling Policy Reform
Read more from GDAE’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program

The Global Development and Environment Institute’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program examines the economic, social and environmental impacts of economic integration in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on the WTO and NAFTA's lessons for trade and development policy. The goal of the program is to identify policies and international agreements that foster sustainable development.

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