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What Can Massive Mobile Phone Data Tell Us about International Trade? The Case of Spain

Discussion Papers - English - Feb, 2018

This paper studies the existing relationship between international mobile phone calls and international trade for the case of Spain, showing that it is possible to build an explanatory model with a high level of correlation between both categories of indicators. The paper further evaluates the use of “massive data” in predictive economic models and provides a review of research in this field. It has been demonstrated than when “massive data” is applied to predictive models, they can offer a higher degree of accuracy than when using traditional approaches. The application to the case of Spain shows that it is possible to anticipate international trade flows by using massive mobile phone calls data. This fact opens a wide field for applied research in international trade both for academia and policy makers.

Related JEL Codes:
C49 - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics: Other
F14 - Empirical Studies of Trade
F47 - Forecasting and Simulation

U.S. Free Trade Agreements and Enforcement of Labor Law in Latin America
Ronconi, Lucas; Dewan, Sabina
Working Papers - English - Nov, 2014

This paper analyzes whether Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed between the United States and Latin American countries during the last decade produced higher enforcement of labor regulations. The paper computes before-after estimates of the effect of FTAs on labor inspections and exploits variation across countries using non-signers as a comparison group. The empirical strategy benefits from the fact that about half of Latin American countries have signed a trade agreement with the United States. Difference-in-differences estimates suggest that signing an FTA produced a 20 percent increase in the number of labor inspectors and a 60 percent increase in the number of inspections. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), however, does not appear to have the same positive impacts on Mexico. The paper concludes with a discussion of these results.

Related JEL Codes:
F16 - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
J83 - Workers' Rights
K31 - Labor Law

Export Pioneers in Latin America
Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés; Sabel, Charles; Fernández-Arias, Eduardo; Stein, Ernesto H.; Hausmann, Ricardo
Books - English - Apr, 2012

Export Pioneers in Latin America analyzes a series of case studies of successful new export activities throughout the region to learn how pioneers jump-start a virtuous process leading to economic transformation. The cases of blueberries in Argentina, avocados in Mexico, and aircraft in Brazil illustrate how an initially successful export activity did not stop with the discovery of a single viable product, but rather continued to evolve. The book explores the conjecture that costly burdens to entrepreneurial self-discovery (due to the deterrent effects of imitation by competitors) have held back potential exporters in post-reform Latin America. It also considers the conjecture that new export activities are a complex enterprise that can only come to fruition when innovative contributions of many actors are somehow provided jointly.

Related JEL Codes:
F14 - Empirical Studies of Trade
F19 - Trade: Other
O14 - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
Q17 - Agriculture in International Trade

The Emergence of Successful Export Activities in Mexico: Three Case Studies
Fouquet, Anne; Aragon, Edgar; Campos, Marcia
Working Papers (Research Network) - English - Feb, 2009

This paper consists of three case studies of the emergence of three successful export activities in Mexico: avocado production, the manufacture of catheters, and call center outsourcing. Each case study discusses how companies, associations, and governments at various levels have addressed market failures and facilitated the provision of public goods necessary for each activity. The case studies additionally profile first movers in each activity and describe the positive externalities they provide to imitators, particularly diffusion of export knowledge. Also include in each case study is a counterfactual case of a less successful activity (mangos, stem cell banking, and other types of business process outsourcing, respectively) and a section on policy implications.

Related JEL Codes:
H41 - Public Goods
L26 - Entrepreneurship
L65 - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology
L84 - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
Q13 - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

Barriers to Exit
Chong, Alberto; León, Gianmarco
Working Papers - English - Aug, 2006

Unlike previous empirical studies that focus on barriers to entry in international trade, we focus on barriers to exit as measured by passport costs for a cross-section of countries. We test four common theories on the determinants of such exit barriers and find that macroeconomic and brain-drain explanations do explain high barriers to exit. However, institutional and cultural hypotheses do not appear to be empirically robust explanations of such high barriers. Our findings hold when applying instrumental variables, changes in specification, and changes in cross-country periods.

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