World trade growth was rapid in the two decades prior to the global financial crisis but has halved subsequently. The slowdown in world trade growth post crisis, if sustained, will have serious consequences for the medium-term growth of productivity and living standards. Trade policy has significant potential to reinvigorate trade growth but the political environment for reforms is difficult, with a growing polarisation of OECD electorates into pro- and anti-globalisation supporters. Further trade and investment policy liberalisation should be introduced as part of a wider package of structural reforms to spread the benefits of freer trade and investment more widely.
Blogposts by Catherine L Mann, OECD Chief Economist:
Referenced Economics Department Working Papers:
Égert, B. and P. Gal, The Quantification of Structural Reforms: A New Framework.
Ollivaud, P. and C. Schwellnus (2015), Does the Post-Crisis Weakness of Global Trade Solely Reflect Weak Demand?.
Fournier, J. et al. (2015), Implicit Regulatory Barriers in the EU Single Market: New Empirical Evidence from Gravity Models.
Château, J., et al. (2014), Trade Patterns in the 2060 World Economy.
Johansson, Å. et al. (2014), What Explains the Volume and Composition of Trade? Industrial Evidence from a Panel of Countries.
Westmore, B. (2013), R&D, Patenting and Growth: The Role of Public Policy.
Cheung, C. and S. Guichard (2009), Understanding the World Trade Collapse.
Nicoletti, G. et al. (2003), Policies and International Integration: Influences on Trade and Foreign Direct Investment.