The editors of The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development have announced that the winner of the Best Paper Prize for 2015 is Dr. Nguyen Viet Cuong, Vice-Director of Mekong Development Research Institute, for his paper The impact of trade facilitation on poverty and inequality: Evidence from low- and middle-income countries.” The paper was published in Volume 24, issue 3 of the journal, covering pages 315-340.

Although there are numerous empirical studies on the effect of trade facilitation on international trade and gross domestic product (GDP), there have been no studies until now on the effect of trade facilitation on poverty and inequality. This study examines the effect of trade facilitation on poverty and inequality in low- and middle-income countries using generalized method of moments-type instrumental variable regression. In this study, trade facilitation is measured by the number of documents and the number of days needed for exports and imports. It is found that trade facilitation helps low- and middle-income countries decrease poverty and inequality, and increase per capita GDP.

Read the full paper.


Figure 1. Trade-facilitation measures.
Source: Author’s preparation from the World Bank’s database.

This study is funded by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The author also received useful comments from the anonymous reviewer for the Journal of International Trade & Economic Development and participants in the workshop ‘Trade Facilitation for Poverty Reduction: Building Capacity for the Implementation of Pro-Poor Trade Facilitation Policies and Measures in Developing Asian Countries’ on 26 March 2013.

Dr. Cuong is currently ranked as the top economist in Vietnam by a number of academic articles published by the RePEc organization, and among the Top 300 Economists in Asia. In the world, he is ranked in the top 5% of economists according to a variety of publications that were published within the last 10 years.


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