Does aid for trade enhance export performance? Investigating on the infrastructure channel

Today, there are few empirical studies assessing the effectiveness of aid for trade on trade pe rformance. Furthermore, existing works do not test channels by which this impact is transiting. We address this question using an empirical analysis constructed in two steps. Following a model of export performance, we first test if institutions and infrastructure, our two potential channels of transmission, are indeed determinants of export performance. Secondly, we test the impact of aid for trade sectoral flows on the determinants that were highlighted in the first part. We show that the infrastructure channel appears to be highly significant in the first step whereas the institutional one turns out to have limited impact on developing countries’ exports. Furthermore, in our second step, aid for infrastructure seems, once instrumented, to have a strong and positive impact on the infrastructure level. Our results indicate that a 10% increase in aid to infrastructure commitments per capita leads to an average increase of the exports over GDP ratio for a developing country of 2.34%. It is also equivalent to a 2.71% reduction of the tariff and non-tariff barriers. This highlights the very high economic impact of aid for trade throughout the channel of infrastructures.

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Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
O19; O11; F10; F17; O10
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-22

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