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In Egypt, diarrhoeal diseases remain the main cause of mortality among young children, although the percentage of households with an “improved” access to water, according to the definition used by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is very high. This article seeks to shed light on this paradox, by better identifying the populations affected by problems of access to water, taking into account three dimensions—the time it takes to access a source of water, daily cut-offs and behaviour with respect to storage—and by applying alternative matching estimators to estimate the effects of defective water access on child diarrhoea. It is found that children whose families are identified as having a water access problem through the use of broader-based definitions have a greater likelihood of contracting diarrhoeal diseases. This article, thus, shows that the mortality of children in Egypt could be further reduced by improving households' access to water.
This paper estimates the effect of the decision to import intermediate goods and capital equipment on Total Factor Productivity (TFP) at the firm level on a panel of Spanish firms (19912002). We use two alternative approaches. In the first, we estimate TFP and apply a diffindiff estimator with a control group constructed by propensityscore matching. In the second, direct method, we estimate TFP with imported inputs as a state variable in one stage. Both approaches show that the effect of a firm's decision to source intermediates and capital equipment abroad on its TFP depends critically on its capacity to absorb technology, measured by the proportion of skilled labour.
This article has a dual aim. First, it sets out to underline a learning-by-exporting effect in Spanish firms between 1991 and 2002. It further seeks to outline the conditions allowing firms to benefit from these spillover effects. Using a propensity score matching method, a group of firms having entered the export market (treatment group) is compared with a similar group of non-exporting firms (control group), and difference-in-differences regressions are carried out. The results show a cumulative productivity differential of 32% for the first four years of exporting, with continuous improvement in productivity. After three years of exporting, productivity gain is still approximately 10%. This study shows that increases in capacity utilisation and competitive pressure from foreign markets are insufficient to explain this causal link between exporting and total factor productivity (TFP). It is thus possible to deduce the presence of a learning-by-exporting effect, benefiting firms with sufficiently qualified employees and which are already engaged in international relations (due to foreign suppliers and/or foreign equity participation).
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"A great deal of post-war trade liberalization resulted from regional, preferential trade agreements. Preferential trade agreements cut tariffs on goods originating only in those nations that have signed the agreement. Therefore, they need 'rules of origin' to determine which goods benefit from the tariff cut. Rules of origin have long been ignored for two good reasons: they are dauntingly complex and at first sight appear mind-numbingly dull. The third standard reason for ignoring them - the assertion that they do not matter much - turns out to be wrong. We show that rules of origin are important barriers to trade. Moreover, such rules are emerging as an important trade issue for three additional reasons. First, preferential trade deals are proliferating worldwide. Second, the global fragmentation of production implies complex international supply chains which are particularly constrained and distorted by rules of origin. Third, the extent to which regionalism challenges the WTO-based trading system depends in part on incompatibilities and rigidities built into rules of origin." Copyright (c) CEPR, CES, MSH, 2005.
This paper analyses the impact of rules of origin on patterns of trade in the context of the pan-European system of diagonal cumulation. The paper first highlights the importance of rules of origin in all preferential trading arrangements while arguing that those rules can easily lead to trade suppression and/or trade diversion. We then focus on the introduction of the pan-European system in 1997 and show evidence to suggest that the introduction of the system materially impacted on trade between the EU, and its CEFTA, EFTA and Baltic states partner countries. The main body of the paper then empirically explores the impact of the lack of cumulation in the textile industry on the countries of the Southern Mediterranean. The results suggest that rules of origin may indeed substantially constrain trade between non-cumulating countries, possibly by as much as 70-80 per cent in aggregate. While preferential trading agreements thus serve to increase intra-PTA trade through the liberalisation of trade barriers, they may also be doing so by effectively raising external barriers to trade through the use of constraining rules of origin. To the extent that they do so increases the likelihood of trade diversion and trade suppresion. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
The impact on the Southern Mediterranean Countries (SMC) of the current process of trade liberalization with the European Union is explored. The methodology is that of computable general equilibrium modelling under imperfect competition and the model includes ten countries and 11 sectors. This allows for both a cross-country and cross-sectoral analysis of the results. The experiments considered are the full liberalization of tariffs, as well as changes in market access and trade-induced changes in productivity. A key feature of the paper is that the phased introduction of tariff reductions is allowed for as explicitly envisaged in the Agreements. The results show that the process of liberalization may have a substantial, though non-monotonic, impact on the SMC economies in terms of both changes in production and through this on welfare. The welfare impact is potentially very high in particular for the high tariff economies. The sources of the welfare gain tend to derive from perfectly competitive explanations of trade for the high tariff economies, and from imperfectly competitive explanations of trade for the low tariff economies.