Policy implications of value added vs gross trade flows

At VoxEU, Shimelse Ali and Uri Dadush talk about the policy implications of how we measure trade flows of intermediate inputs, a topic I’ve been covering a lot recently. They say: “Bilateral trade balances are not appropriately measured, the costs of protection are higher than often understood, trade is more volatile, and the importance of […]

Are iPhones “made in China”? Measuring value added in trade flows

If you found the Wall Street Journal‘s Wednesday story on gross value vs value added in trade statistics intriguing… Trade statistics in both countries consider the iPhone a Chinese export to the U.S., even though it is entirely designed and owned by a U.S. company, and is made largely of parts produced in several Asian […]

Trade JMPs (2016-2017)

Another November, another job market. Who’s on the market in trade this year? As I have for the last six years, I focus on trade, neglecting international finance and open-economy macro. The distribution is a bit uneven this year — some schools have zero candidates, while UC Davis has six. If I’ve missed someone, please […]

Measuring rules of origin

In the modern global economy, most barriers to trade do not come in the form of tariffs or quotas. Indeed, as early as 1970, Robert Baldwin described non-tariff protection as a big challenge following the Kennedy Round: “lowering of tariffs has, in effect, been like draining a swamp. The lower water level has revealed all […]

What the WTO’s “Made in the World” isn’t

The WTO’s “Made in the World” initiative is a data exercise aimed at measuring and analyzing value-added trade flows. Michele Nash-Hoff, a US manufacturing advocate, misrepresents this statistical exercise as a massive policy change. Her Huffington Post piece is curious because it accurately describes the statistical project and the shortcomings of measuring trade flows in […]

What we don’t learn from looking at exports/GDP

I’m afraid that I found “The Quiet Driver of Economic Growth: Exports“, a NYT Economix post by Binyamin Appelbaum, to be more confusing than illuminating. In this post, I’ll try to explain why one must be careful in interpreting a number of economic statistics. Appelbaum writes: The estimates of the nation’s economic performance last year, […]

Johnson-Noguera over four decades

Rob Johnson and Guillermo Noguera describing not-yet-posted research: [W]e combine time series data on sectoral production and bilateral trade with benchmark input-output tables for the OECD and major emerging markets, covering 80-90% of world trade and GDP. We find rapid and accelerating declines in the domestic content of exports of most countries. Preliminary results suggest […]