The effects of globalisation have been at the forefront of public debate in recent years, fuelled on the one hand by the large benefits of integrated markets, and on the other hand, by the detrimental adjustment effects often experienced by many economies as a result. Knowing how trade has been evolving over time and the role policy has played in this evolution are critical to understanding the globalisation debate and grasping the lessons for future policy development. The comparative advantage hypothesis has been suggested as one of the principal explanations of international trade and of the benefits associated with openness. It has also provided the intellectual underpinnings for most trade policy in the past 50 years. This book collects OECD work that builds on recent contributions to the theory and empirics of comparative advantage, putting particular emphasis on the role policy can play in shaping trade.
Imports tend to bring wages up for skilled workers rather than push wages down, according to this study of the relationship between wages and trade in 55 countries and 40 industries. This positive effect is evidence of the increased productivity of firms who import inputs.
Exchange rate levels affect trade flows in agriculture and in the manufacturing and mining sector in China, the Euro area and the United States, though they do not explain in their entirety the trade imbalances in these three economies, this paper finds.
English, Excel, 138kb
Results and reports for Co-operative Research Programme (CRP) fellowships awarded in 2011
Physical and human capital (especially second- and third-level education), financial development and some aspects of labour market institutions are important policy and institutional areas that determine comparative advantage today, according to this paper.
This report provides an overview of the main characteristics and structure of the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its developments in the last 25 years in a changing environment within and outside the EU.
Drawing on material presented at the OECD Workshop on the Disaggregated Impacts of CAP Reform, held on 10-11 March 2010, and model-based scenarios, it analyses the impacts of policy changes on production, trade, land use, farm structure, the environment and some aspects of rural development, using changes in the level and composition of OECD indicators of support, notably the Producer Support Estimate (PSE).
This report further suggests improvements in the market orientation, competitiveness and risk management at all levels of the food chain, and pleads for clarifying the link between policy measures and objectives through better targeting, and strengthening evidence on which to base policies.
European support to farm incomes has decreased substantially over the past 20 years, according to this report. Farmers earned 22% of total annual receipts from government support over the 2008-10 period, down from 39% annually over the 1986-88 period.
Governments and taxpayers spent about half a trillion dollars last year supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels. Removing inefficient subsidies would raise national revenues and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, according to OECD and IEA analyses.
Concerns about sustainability and the effectiveness of fisheries management on the part of the public have resulted in demand from NGOs, retailers and consumers for assurances that the food they purchase has been sustainably produced. This has led to a number of private entities responding to this demand by establishing eco-labels and certification schemes that claim to provide credible information to the consumer. These labels intend to serve the interest of fishers and processors who need to transmit positive information to the consumer to maintain their markets, and serve consumers by providing information not elsewhere available.
This report considers the growing trend in information requirements for seafood products in general, and in particular to the distinct sustainability features of wild capture fisheries and aquaculture. This work refers primarily to privately-driven certification schemes which have become an established feature of the market for eco-labels in fisheries and aquaculture. The report focuses on private eco-labelling and analyzes the economics of certification schemes, discusses key issues at the interface between public authorities, private labelling schemes, business operators and consumers. Finally, main findings and messages to policy makers are addressed.
On the 50th anniversary of the OECD, we examine the unique work the organisation performs in regulating and rationalising governments’ use of export credits in support of exports, jobs, economic growth and national interests more broadly. This work is part of a global post war effort to emphasise multilateral co operation and sound economic policies to promote co operation, efficiency and prosperity rather than destructive competition, controversy and conflict.
OECD export credits work is one of the basic building blocks of the ever growing structure of global trade agreements that aim to maintain open and efficient markets. The objective is to eliminate subsidies and unfair practices in the economic competition that forms the foundation of a healthy and dynamic global economy. The elimination of official financing subsidies in global trade is only a part of the broader trade policy agenda, but it is a vital part, and has been delegated to the OECD by the WTO. Since financing is the life blood of trade flows, specialised OECD housed work allows trade to flow efficiently for aircraft and other capital goods while other trade policy work and litigation continue at the WTO.
The export credits work at the OECD is described in this collection of essays. However it is about much more than the series of agreements described herein. It is more fundamentally about the governments and their people - policy makers and experts - who gather at the OECD to build collectively a system of export credits disciplines that is fair, transparent, adaptable and effective. It is therefore as much about people and ideas as anything else. The export credit secretariat pictured above represents only the latest in a long line of OECD staff committed to facilitate and advise this work.
The OECD’s motto on its 50th anniversary is “Better Policies for Better Lives.” This reminds us that in the end, it is policies that are at the centre of human well being. And export credits work is about promoting these better policies by developing “smart rules” that open markets and maintain a level playing field and by bringing people and governments together to this end.