Person:
Brenton, Paul

Trade and Regional Integration
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INTERNATIONAL TRADE, CLIMATE CHANGE, CARBON ACCOUNTING, TRADE POLICY
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Trade and Regional Integration
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Paul Brenton is Lead Economist in the Trade and Regional Integration Unit of the World Bank. He focuses on analytical and operation work on trade and regional integration. He has led the implementation of World Bank lending operations such as the Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project in DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. He co-authored the joint World Bank-WTO report on The Role of Trade in Ending Poverty and has managed a range of policy-oriented volumes including: De-Fragmenting Africa: Deepening Regional Trade Integration in Goods and Services; Africa can Help Feed Africa; and Carbon Footprints and Food Systems: Do Current Accounting Methodologies Disadvantage Developing Countries? Paul joined the World Bank in 2002, having previously been Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Trade Policy Unit at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. Before that, he lectured in economics at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of East Anglia. A collection of Paul’s work has been published in the volume International Trade, Distribution and Development: Empirical Studies of Trade Policies (https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9172 ).
Citations 1 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 15
  • Publication
    Product Specific Technical Assistance for Exports--Has It Been Effective?
    (2009) Brenton, Paul
    The international community is placing increasing emphasis on aid for trade to assist low income countries to integrate into the global economy and to address their domestic constraints to export driven growth. There is, however, scant information on the effectiveness of previous support for export development to inform the design of new initiatives. In this paper, we exploit information on product specific technical assistance for trade and estimate a simple partial equilibrium model to assess the impact on the key measurable outcome--exports of the product subject to assistance. We apply a difference in differences approach to isolate the impact of the policy interventions and draw four main conclusions: on average, export development (ED) programs have coincided with or predated stronger export performance; such programs appear to be more effective where there is already significant export activity; there is some concern about the additionality of the programs and that support may be being channeled to sectors that would have prospered anyway; ultimately, conclusions strongly depend on what one postulates would have happened in the absence of the policy intervention, so the definition of a credible counterfactual is of utmost importance for the evaluation of technical assistance for exports.
  • Publication
    The Initial and Potential Impact of Preferential Access to the U.S. Market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act
    (World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2004-04) Brenton, Paul
    The ability to export clothing products under preferences with liberal rules of origin is the key factor currently determining whether the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has a significant impact on non-oil exporting African countries. At present only a small number of countries receive substantial benefits and least developed countries that do not receive preferences for clothing have yet to see an impact of AGOA on their overall exports. However, the benefits from exporting clothing under AGOA appear fragile in the face of the removal of quotas in the United States on major suppliers, such as China, at the end of 2004, and the planned removal of the liberal rules of origin that allow for the global sourcing of fabrics from least-cost locations. To entrench and enhance the benefits of AGOA, it is important that the scheme be extended over a much longer period, if not made permanent, and the special liberal rules of origin for clothing products be extended considerably beyond 2004. The effective inclusion of textile products and a number of high-duty agricultural products would also help to broaden the range of opportunities for African exporters in the U.S. market. Nevertheless it is important that the opportunities created by AGOA are integrated into a broader framework for promoting trade and that it be recognized that if the opportunities offered by more open trade are to be exploited, there must be concerted efforts to improve the environment for investment countries covered by AGOA.
  • Publication
    Carbon Labeling and Poor Country Exports
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-07) Brenton, Paul; Friis, Michael Jensen
    Carbon labelling is being adopted by private firms as a mechanism for mitigating climate change. Such schemes are likely to have a significant impact on low-income country exports due to the need for transportation and the small size of their exporters. However, transport emissions may be offset by favorable production conditions and size bias may be reduced. The design and implementation of carbon labelling will need to take into account a number of complex, technical challenges. As innovative solutions emerge, it is important that low income countries are involved in discussions on the design and implementation of carbon labelling.
  • Publication
    The African Growth and Opportunity Act, Exports, and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-08) Brenton, Paul
    The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the flagship of U.S. commercial and development policy with Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper looks at the impact of the trade preferences that are the central element of AGOA on African countries' exports to the U.S. and puts them in the perspective of the development of the region. The paper finds that, while stimulating export diversification in a few countries, AGOA has fallen short of the potential impetus that preferences could otherwise provide African exporters. The impact of AGOA would be enhanced if preferences were extended to all products. This means removing tariff barriers to a range of agricultural products and to textiles and a number of other manufactured goods. There also needs to be a fundamental change in approach to the rules of origin. Given the stage of development and economic size of Sub-Saharan Africa, nonrestrictive rules of origin are crucial. For all countries in Africa, those that have and those that have not benefited from preferences, there are enormous infrastructure weaknesses and often extremely poor policy environments that raise trade costs and push African producers further away from international markets. Effective trade preferences (those with nonrestrictive rules of origin) can provide a limited window of opportunity to exports while these key barriers to trade are addressed. But dealing with the barriers is the priority.
  • Publication
    Carbon Labelling and Low-Income Country Exports: A Review of the Development Issues
    (2009) Brenton, Paul; Jensen, Michael Friis
    This article discusses the carbon accounting and carbon-labelling schemes being developed to address growing concerns over climate change. Its particular concern is their impact on small stakeholders, especially low-income countries. The popular belief that trade is by definition problematic is not true; carbon efficiencies elsewhere in the supply chain may more than offset emissions from transportation. Indeed, low-income countries may offer important opportunities for carbon emission reductions because of their favourable climatic conditions and use of low energy-intensive production techniques. However, their effective inclusion in labelling schemes will require innovative solutions to provide low-cost data collection and certification.
  • Publication
    Clothing and Export Diversification : Still a Route to Growth for Low-Income Countries?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-09) Brenton, Paul
    Can the clothing sector be a driver of export diversification and growth for today's low-income countries as it was in the past for countries that have graduated into middle income? This paper assesses this issue taking into account key changes to the market for clothing: the emergence of India and especially China as exporting countries; the rise of global production chains; the removal of quotas from the global trading regime but the continued presence of high tariffs and substantial trade preferences; the increasing importance of large buyers in developed countries and their concerns regarding risk and reputation; and the increasing importance of time in defining sourcing decisions. To assess the importance of the factors shaping the global clothing market, the authors estimate a gravity model to explain jointly the propensity to export clothing and the magnitude of exports from developing countries to the E U and US markets. This analysis identifies the quality of governance as an important determinant of sourcing decisions and that there appears to be a general bias against sourcing apparel from African countries, which is only partially overcome by trade preferences.
  • Publication
    Assessing the Adjustment Implications of Trade Policy Changes Using TRIST : Tariff Reform Impact Simulation Tool
    (2009-09-01) Brenton, Paul; Staritz, Cornelia; von Uexkull, Erik
    TRIST is a simple, easy to use tool to assess the adjustment implications of trade reform. It improves on existing tools. First, it is an improvement in terms of accuracy because projections are based on revenues actually collected at the tariff line level rather than simply applying statutory rates. Second, it is transparent and open; runs in Excel, with formulas and calculation steps visible to the user; and is open-source and users are free to change, extend, or improve according to their needs. Third, TRIST has greater policy relevance because it projects the impact of tariff reform on total fiscal revenue (including VAT and excise) and results are broken down to the product level so that sensitive products or sectors can be identified. And fourth, the tool is flexible and can incorporate tariff liberalization scenarios involving any group of trading partners and any schedules of products. This paper describes the TRIST tool and provides a range of examples that demonstrate the insights that the tool can provide to policy makers on the adjustment impacts of reducing tariffs.
  • Publication
    What Explains the Low Survival Rate of Developing Country Export Flows?
    (2009-06-01) Brenton, Paul; von Uexkull, Erik
    Successful export growth and diversification require not only entry into new export products and markets, but also the survival and growth of export flows. This paper uses a detailed, cross-country dataset of product level bilateral export flows to illustrate that exporting is an extremely perilous activity and especially so in low-income countries. The authors find that unobserved individual heterogeneity in product-level export flow data prevails despite controlling for a wide range of observed country and product characteristics. This questions previous studies that have used the Cox proportional hazards model to model export survival. The authors estimate a Prentice-Gloeckler model, amended with a gamma mixture distribution summarizing unobserved individual heterogeneity. The empirical results confirm the significance of a range of products as well as country-specific factors in determining the survival of export flows. From a policy perspective, an interesting finding is the importance of learning-by-doing for export survival: experience with exporting the same product to other markets or different products to the same market are found to strongly increase the chance of export survival. A better understanding of such learning effects could substantially improve the effectiveness of export promotion strategies.
  • Publication
    Assessing the Direct Economic Effects of Reallocating Irrigation Water to Alternative Uses Concepts and an Application
    (2009-04-01) Andriamananjara, Soamiely; Brenton, Paul; von Uexkull, Jan Erik; Walkenhorst, Peter
    This study discusses potential economic implications for Nigeria of an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. It uses the World Bank s Tariff Reform Impact Simulation Tool to assess the effects of preferential tariff liberalization with respect to the European Union. The results suggest that the impact of an Economic Partnership Agreement on total imports into Nigeria will be slight. This is in part because the Agreement will likely allow the most protected sectors to be excluded from liberalization, and also because where substantial tariffs are involved much of the increase in imports from the European Union will occur at the expense of other suppliers of imports. It is this trade diversion, arising from the discriminatory nature of the EPA, which generates a negative welfare impact of the tariff reforms. One way for Nigeria to limit these losses is to pursue non-preferential trade liberalization before implementing an EPA. The paper looks at the large number of import bans in Nigeria and argues that the positive impact on welfare of removing these import bans is likely to be substantial. Their removal would undermine a major reason for cross border smuggling and pave the way for a return to normal regional trade flows. The paper shows how an Economic Partnership Agreement presents an opportunity for accelerating the reforms that are needed to support a strategy to increase regional and global trade integration. Such an agreement is more likely to have positive and significant impacts when integrated into a comprehensive strategy toward competitiveness and alleviation of the supply constraints that have stifled the impact of previous trade agreements. Key issues that should be addressed include liberalization and regulatory strengthening of services sectors to ensure that all firms in Nigeria have access to efficiently produced backbone services and initiatives to address the country s poor trade logistics performance.
  • Publication
    Integrating the Least Developed Countries into the World Trading System : The Current Impact of EU Preferences under Everything but Arms
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-04) Brenton, Paul
    Trade preferences are a key element in industrial countries' efforts to assist the integration of least developed countries (LDCs) into the world economy. Brenton provides an initial evaluation of the impact of the European Union's recently introduced "Everything but Arms" (EBA) initiative on the products currently exported by the LDCs. He shows that the changes introduced by the EBA initiative in 2001 are relatively minor for currently exported products, primarily because over 99 percent of EU imports from the LDCs are in products which the EU had already liberalized, and the complete removal of barriers to the key remaining products-rice, sugar, and bananas-has been delayed. Brenton looks at the role EU preferences to LDCs in general have been playing and could play in assisting the integration of the LDCs. He shows that there is considerable variation across countries in the potential impact that EU preferences can have given current export structures. There is a group of LDCs for whom EU trade preferences on existing exports are not significant since these exports are mainly of products where the most-favored-nation duty is zero. Export diversification is the key issue for these countries. For other LDCs, EU preferences have the potential to provide a more substantial impact on trade. However, the author shows that only 50 percent of EU imports from non-ACP (Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific) LDCs which are eligible actually request preferential access to the EU. The prime suspect for this low level of use are the rules of origin, both the restrictiveness of the requirements on sufficient processing and the costs and difficulties of providing the necessary documentation. More simple rules of origin are likely to enhance the impact of EU trade preferences in terms of improving market access and in stimulating diversification toward a broader range of exports.