Lucian Cernat, Monday, December 8, 2014

The world of international trade has been in constant evolution since the rise of containerisation. This column makes the case for the need to upgrade our toolbox for trade policy analysis. An upgraded "Trade Policy Analysis 2.0" would be based on firm-level statistics and a much more refined product disaggregation, both of which are now becoming widely available. 

Filippo di Mauro, Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Policies aimed at enhancing firm productivity may greatly benefit from firm-level evidence. Unfortunately, micro-founded data, particularly of cross-country nature, remain largely unavailable. This column presents a new firm-level database built by a research network of the EU system of central banks (CompNet). This data base allows investigating how firm size and labour costs interact at different levels of productivity. This new cross-country data base, and its potential to expand, could be of great policy value.

Jamal Ibrahim Haidar, Saturday, February 18, 2012

Recent theoretical and empirical trade research has shifted from analysing aggregate trade flows to studying the behaviour of exporters. This column examines the case of Jordan and finds that multi-product exporters in Jordan look remarkably similar to their US and French counterparts, confirming the predictions of recent theoretical models. It adds that this implies the policy focus should be on raising the number of exporters, not on helping the existing superstars.

Holger Breinlich, Chiara Criscuolo, Friday, July 2, 2010

Services trade accounts for a large and growing share of international trade - but we know very little about the firms carrying out this trade. Using firm-level data from the UK between 2000 and 2005, this column paints a detailed picture of importers and exporters of services, and discusses some of the resulting implications for economic policy.

Wendy Carlin, Mark Schaffer, Paul Seabright, Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How much do institutions matter? This column provides a new insight into measuring their effects, suggesting that a survey of managers’ perceptions of the impact of institutions should be used as an estimate of the effect. It finds that the combined impact of improving public inputs in low-income countries to their level in high-income ones is equivalent to raising output by about 20%.