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.
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.
- Research Associate
- Research Fellow
- Honorary Associate
- Professorial Fellow
- Research Fellow, Cluster Leader
- Joint Research Director, International Centre for Tax and Development
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-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
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
Realising the Potential of Agribusiness to Reduce Youth Unemployment in EthiopiaIDS Policy Briefing 153 (2018)
Agribusiness in Ethiopia has grown significantly in the last 20 years, and this growth is set to continue. This transition presents opportunities to address the country’s high youth unemployment and for agribusinesses to participate in global, regional, and local markets. More details
Strengthening Small and Medium Enterprises to Address Youth Unemployment Crisis in ZimbabweIDS Policy Briefing 154 (2018)
After years of Mugabe’s anti-Western rhetoric closed Zimbabwe’s doors, his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the country ‘open for business’. After such a long period of looking inward, this could be a chance to rebuild the economy through large-scale investment in the private sector, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs). More details
Join Hands or Walk Alone? Evidence on Lobbying for Trade Policy in IndiaARTNeT 167 (2017)
India has aligned to the importance of international trading systems while partaking a degree of independence in its trade policy formulation. The latter stance is often linked to domestic state business relations that have organised in expressing specific needs of developing countries. More details
Trade Policy & Lobbying Effectiveness: Theory and Evidence for India
The objective of this paper is to quantify Lobbying Effectiveness for trade policy. I introduce this measure into Grossman and Helpman’s (1994, American Economic Review 84: 833–850) model of protection-for-sale (PFS). Two alternate factors are suggested to explain differences in lobbying effectiveness across sectors; first, predisposition of the government to supply protection (owing arguably to a perception bias to certain lobby groups that present their policy stance better); and second, the ability to organize and lobby for protection (based on market structure). More details
The Political Economy of Sugar in Southern Africa: IntroductionJournal of Southern African Studies (2016)
In this introductory paper we review historic and contemporary development of sugar cane production across the southern Africa. We argue that the region’s sugar industry provides a useful lens through which to understand current dynamics of corporate capital and agricultural production in Africa. More details
The Politics of Sustainability and Development, Annual Review of Environment and ResourcesAnnual Review of Environment and Resources 41 (2016)
This review examines the relationships between politics, sustainability, and development. Following an overview of sustainability thinking across different traditions, the politics of resources and the influence of scarcity narratives on research, policy and practice are explored. More details
Logistics Performance and Trade: an Analysis of India’s Trade in Intermediates with Bangladesh and Thailand.
In this study, the objective is to empirically explore the role of logistics in enhancing production linkages through trade in intermediate products. Two case studies of trade in intermediate goods are undertaken: (i) India’s export of textile yarn to Bangladesh; and (ii) India’s import of air conditioning equipment from Thailand. More details
Book Review: Ajitava Raychaudhuri and Prabir De. 2012. International Trade in Services in India: Implications for Growth and Inequality in a Globalising WorldJournal of South Asian Development 8.2 (2013)
Ajitava Raychaudhuri and Prabir De have compiled a relevant collection on the growing importance of services trade for India and its implications to economic growth and inequality. The book consists of 12 chapters that provide an in-depth discussion of trends in services trade in the aggregate and the sectoral dimensions across higher education, health and transportation services in India. The overarching theme of the book is that the removal of barriers to services trade is welfare-enhancing. More details
What is Business and Development? An Annotated BibliographyIDS Evidence Report 4 (2013)
This annotated bibliography provides an exhaustive collection of resources on the topic of Business and Development. More details
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. More details
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
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
Measuring the Inclusivity of Inclusive BusinessIDS Practice Paper 9 (2012)
‘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
Achieving Export Diversification: Lessons from BrazilIDS In Focus Policy Briefing 21 (2012)
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
Firm Behaviour and the Introduction of New Exports: Evidence from BrazilIDS Working Paper 390 (2012)
This paper contributes to understanding the process of export diversification by analysing firm level determinants in Brazil during the period 2000–2009. More details
Integrating Business and Development ImpactIDS In Focus Policy Briefing 19 (2011)
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
Bilateral Investment Treaties: on the eve of a major reform?20 Jun 2017
By Carlos Fortin
Food crisis looms (again) as El Niño taking its toll on harvests22 Feb 2016
By Naomi Hossain
Debate in the US on Trans Pacific Partnership: issues and warnings19 Jun 2015
By Carlos Fortin
From liberalisation to global regulation.23 Jan 2014
By Carlos Fortin
The economic engagement footprint of rising powers in Africa26 Nov 2013
By Musab Younis
BLOG: More on UNCTAD's alternative voice01 Feb 2013
Stopping the Race to the Bottom01 Aug 2012
By Hubert Schmitz, (incomplete)
BLOG: Will the recession in the North spread to the South and East?11 Jul 2012
By John Humphrey