GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

Trade and Growth

Achieving economic growth requires countries to reach out to other markets through trade. Yet many developing countries face significant internal and external barriers to trade, and typically have exports that are highly-concentrated in natural resources and low-skill manufacturing products.

Ships arriving into Lagos's Apapa and Tin Can ports pass by locals enjoying a weekend at the beach. Credit: Jacob Silberberg / Panos

IDS research on trade and growth aims to assist developing countries in understanding the impact of trade policy. Our work seeks to understand how to design trade strategies that are more conducive to economic growth and development.

We work on areas including:

  • Export diversification – seeking to understand how firms can export a more diverse range of products. Find out more about our work on export diversification.
  • Trade preferences – exploring the impact of regional integration and unilateral preferences on developing countries.
  • South-South trade – understanding the impact of trade between countries in the global South, and how this can be expanded.
  • Regulations, standards and trade – assessing the impact of food safety, plant and animal health and other technical requirements on exports from developing countries.
  • Effectiveness of trade-related technical assistance – identifying ways in which the effectiveness of technical assistance, aimed at enhancing the export performance of developing countries, can be improved.
  • Food price volatility – exploring how fluctuations in world market food prices are transmitted to local markets in developing countries. Find out more about our work on food price volatility.

Achieving economic growth requires countries to reach out to other markets through trade. Yet many developing countries face significant internal and external barriers to trade, and typically have exports that are highly-concentrated in natural resources and low-skill manufacturing products.

 

IDS research on trade and growth aims to assist developing countries in understanding the impact of trade policy. Our work seeks to understand how to design trade strategies that are more conducive to economic growth and development.

 

We work on areas including:

 

  • Export diversification – seeking to understand how firms can export a more diverse range of products. 
  • Trade preferences – exploring the impact of regional integration and unilateral preferences on developing countries. 
  • South-South trade – understanding the impact of trade between countries in the global South, and how this can be expanded. 
  • Regulations, standards and trade – assessing the impact of food safety, plant and animal health and other technical requirements on exports from developing countries.
  • Effectiveness of trade-related technical assistance – identifying ways in which the effectiveness of technical assistance, aimed at enhancing the export performance of developing countries, can be improved.
Food price volatility – exploring how fluctuations in world market food prices are transmitted to local markets in developing countries.

Analysing the Effects from Non Tariff Measures (NTM) in the Global Agri-Food Trade

The project's objective is to collect and analyse new data on non-tariff measures, particularly on governmental standards and regulations that prescribe the conditions for importing agri-food products into the EU market and into the markets of the main competing players. More details

Assessing the Impact of the Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement

The study analysed the trade and welfare implications of the Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement using a multi-regional computable general equilibrium model as well as a single-region general equilibrium model of Jamaica. More details

Business Innovation Facility

The Business Innovation Facility (BIF) aims to catalyse market systems change in order to benefit poor producers, consumers and employees More details

China-Africa Development Prospects and Perspectives

The study aimed to generate knowledge on what is the best way that Africa can benefit from China's strong economic engagement with the continent. More details

China-UK Cooperation on African Trade and Investment for Poverty Reduction

This IDS led project aims to evaluate changing trade and investment relations between China, and also the UK, with Kenya and South Africa and the consequences of these changes. More details

Data Systems and Economywide Modeling to Support Policy Analysis in Ethiopia

This project aims to create and strengthen analytical and practical capacity of policy analysis in Ethiopia and to support the government in its endeavours to meet the challenges of the MDGs. More details

Economic Integration and External Shocks: Modeling Outcomes for India

Studying the impact of trade policy changes and other changes in the international economic environment. More details

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) Review

A general review of the negotiating process and costs of EPAs and their impact on development. More details

Firm Behaviour and the Introduction of New Products: Evidence using a Firm Micro Data Set in Brazil

The objective of this research is to contribute to the understanding of one of the most important processes required for achieving sustained economic growth in emerging and developing countries: the process of product and export diversification. More details

Research on the Poverty Impact of Market and Enabling Business Environment Programmes in Kenya

To what extent does private sector development work in Kenya contribute to a reduction in poverty and inequality? This review aims to assess the evidence base for DFID Kenya’s Wealth Creation Pillar programming. More details

Revenue Impact Analysis of Angola's Integration into the SADC Free Trade Area

This study aimed to forecast the effects of Angola's integration into the SADC Free Trade Area and into a full SADC Customs Union on the country's indirect tax revenue. More details

Review of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)

This project reviews the effectiveness of the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) at fostering exports from developing countries to the EU. More details

The Impact of the Crisis on Trade Credit

An examination of whether or not exporters in Sub-Saharan Africa are facing a decline in trade credit. More details

The Impact of the Crisis on World Prices and Trade

This project used a global trade model to gauge the impact of a slowdown in economic activity in the OECD on trade performance, world prices and aggregate welfare in the rest of the world. More details

The Impact of Trade on Employment and Income in Brazil

A contribution to an analysis of the impact of prospective changes in the multilateral and regional trade environment on employment and income in Brazil. More details

The Impact of Trade Policies on Pakistan's Preferential Access to the European Union

This study looked at the impact of trade policies on Pakistan's preferential access to the EU and on Pakistan's overall trade performance. More details

Updating Economic Partnership Agreements to Today's Global Challenges

This project contributed to a critical review of Economic Partnership Agreements. More details

What are the Effects of Free Trade Zones on Employment and Wages?

Systematic review funded by 3ie to look at the existing evidence on what the effects of free trade zones on employment and wages More details

What is the Evidence of the Impact of Tariff Reductions on Employment and Fiscal Revenue in Developing Countries?

The team intends to address the question 'What is the evidence of the impacts of new trade deals on fiscal revenues and job creation in low-income countries? More details

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Image Teaser for Evidence Report 4, 'What is Business and Development? An Annotated Bibliography'

What is Business and Development? An Annotated Bibliography

This annotated bibliography provides an exhaustive collection of resources on the topic of Business and Development. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Determinants of Outward Processing: Evidence from Offshoring Intermediates by the European Union

This paper analyses the determinants of outward processing (OP) trade; specifically, imports of intermediates subsequent to processing abroad. A model where firms choose between OP and importing intermediates directly from a third country (generic offshoring, GO), predicts higher tariffs, lower monitoring costs and higher quality make OP more likely, while better institutions and rule of law abroad lower contractual breakdown risk under GO making OP less likely. Analysis of EU trade data from 2002 to 2008 emphasises proximity, quality differentiation and weaker rule of law as OP determinants. Results suggest relationship-specific investments and monitoring under OP may offset contractual uncertainty. More details

IDS publications on international development research

General Equilibrium Analysis of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite FTA

This is the report following an impact analysis to determine potential economy-wide impacts of what will be Africa's largest free trade agreement. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Trade and Development – A Forgotten Issue?

The UN system has invited international organisations, governments and local government bodies, academic institutions and think tanks, civil society organisations, the private sector, trade unions, foundations, religious groups, individuals to offer their ideas and views on the next development agenda. More details

This is the image for IDS Practice Paper 9, 'Measuring the Inclusivity of Inclusive Business'.

Measuring the Inclusivity of Inclusive Business

‘Inclusive Business’ has enormous potential to contribute positively to development outcomes. Working through core business models, the ‘Inclusive Business’ approach requires minimal outside support and can often reach a scale unattainable by most direct development interventions. More details

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

Achieving Export Diversification: Lessons from Brazil

Achieving export diversification has been a central objective of development policy for the last 50 years, yet many developing countries struggle to achieve it. More details

This is the image for IDS Working Paper 390, 'Firm Behaviour and the Introduction of New Exports: Evidence from Brazil'.

Firm Behaviour and the Introduction of New Exports: Evidence from Brazil

This paper contributes to understanding the process of export diversification by analysing firm level determinants in Brazil during the period 2000–2009. More details

IDS In Focus Policy Briefing

Integrating Business and Development Impact

Businesses are increasingly setting up programmes to engage with international development. Development agencies are also seeking to mobilise businesses’ knowledge and resources to achieve development goals. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Trade Finance in Africa: A Survey of Firms

This chapter provides some evidence about whether export-oriented garment production and high-value export horticulture in Sub-Saharan Africa have experienced problems in obtaining trade finance. More details

IDS Research Summary

The Last Golden Land? Chinese Private Companies Go to Africa

The widely-held perception of Chinese investment in Africa is that of large state-owned enterprises in search of natural resources. More details

IDS publications on international development research

What is the Evidence of the Impact of Tariff Reductions on Employment and Fiscal Revenue in Developing Countries?

The goal of DFID's Systematic Review programme is to provide policy makers and practitioners with a robust assessment of the evidence base as they develop policies and programmes. More details

Non-IDS publication

Income Distribution Trends and Future Food Demand

This paper surveys the theoretical literature on the relationship between income distribution and food demand, and identifies main gaps of current food modelling techniques that affect the accuracy of food demand projections. More details

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Our work seeks to understand how to design trade strategies that are more conducive to economic growth and development.