Trade and trade policy can have serious implications for the incentives of individuals and governments to fight in fragile countries. Trade brings resources and creates jobs, but it is also more volatile than other external flows to fragile states. This seminar will discuss some of the new research by the World Bank (much of which is contained in a new book) on how changes in imports and exports affect the risk and intensity of conflict.
It will offer a framework for studying the relationship between trade and conflict, review existing evidence, and analyse this relationship across countries as well as through case studies (Nigeria, the Palestinian territories, Haiti, South Sudan). It will draw on the results of the analysis to help explain some ongoing civil conflicts, as the Boko Haram and the South Sudanese civil war.
On the basis of the analysis the presentation will draw a number of policy principles to use trade to promote peace rather than to foster conflict in fragile economies. It will also discuss the potential implications of this research on the World Bank’s own analytical and investment work, drawing from ongoing projects in Myanmar, Lebanon, Haiti and the Great Lakes Region.
About the Speaker:
Massimiliano Calì is a trade economist in the World Bank’s Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice. His current and recent work focuses on trade in fragile countries, on the relation between economics and conflict, and on the impact of trade on poverty.
Prior to joining the Bank in 2012, he served as an economic advisor to the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy in Ramallah, as a research fellow with the Overseas Development Institute (based in London, Geneva and Jerusalem), and as an economist with the Italian embassy to Bolivia in La Paz. In these capacities he has provided economic policy advice to a number of Ministries in developing countries as well as to international organizations and NGOs.
He has published in the fields of trade and development, state-business relations, migration and urbanisation. He holds a PhD in Economic Geography from the London School of Economics, an MA in Development Economics from the University of East Anglia and a BA in Economics from the University of Pavia.