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 - 7 of 7
  • 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
    Pathways to African Export Sustainability
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012-07-02) Brenton, Paul; Pierola, Martha Denisse
    This report provides tentative leads toward such policy prescriptions, based on an overview of the empirical evidence. Chapter one sets the stage by putting Africa's export-survival performance into perspective and proposing a framework that will guide the interpretation of empirical evidence throughout the report. Chapter two covers country-level determinants of export sustainability at origin and destination, including the exporting country's business environment. Chapter three explores some of the firm-level evidence on what drives export sustainability, including uncertainty, incomplete contracts, learning, and networks. Finally, chapter four offers tentative policy implications. The main conclusions from this overview of the causes of Africa's low export sustainability should be taken with caution both because of the complexity of the issue and because of the very fragmentary evidence on which the overview is based. The author should be more cautious in drawing policy implications, as hasty policy prescriptions are the most common trap into which reports of this kind can fall. A first, solid conclusion is that the author needs substantial additional work on the nature and causes of low export survival rates in developing countries to determine the path to high export sustainability.
  • Publication
    Watching More Than the Discovery Channel : Export Cycles and Diversification in Development
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-08) Brenton, Paul; Newfarmer, Richard
    This paper examines the export performance of 99 countries over 1995-2004 to understand the relative roles of export growth through "discovery" of new products and growth during post-discovery phases of the export product cycle -- acceleration and maturation -- in existing markets and expansion into new geographic markets. The authors find that expanding existing products in existing markets (growth at the intensive margin) has greater weight in export growth than diversification into new products and new geographic markets (growth at the extensive margin). Moreover, growth into new geographic markets appears to be more important than discovery of new export products in explaining export growth. Of particular importance is whether an exporting country succeeds in reaching more national markets that are already importing the product it makes. This geographic index of market penetration is a powerful explanatory variable of export performance. This suggests that governments should not focus solely or even primarily on the discovery channel, but also seek to identify and address market failures that are constraining exporters in subsequent phases of the export cycle.
  • Publication
    What Explains the Low Survival Rate of Developing Country Export Flows?
    (World Bank, 2011-03-30) 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. For a cross-country dataset of product-level bilateral export flows, exporting is found to be a perilous activity, especially in low-income countries. Unobserved individual heterogeneity in product-level export flow data prevails even when a wide range of observed country and product characteristics are controlled for. This questions previous studies that used the Cox proportional hazards model to analyze export survival. Following Meyer (1990), a Prentice-Gloeckler (1978) model is estimated, amended with a gamma mixture distribution summarizing unobserved individual heterogeneity. The empirical results confirm the significance of a range of product- as well as country-specific factors in determining the survival of new export flows. Important for policymaking is the finding of the value of learning-by-doing for export survival: experience with exporting the same product to other markets or different products to the same market is 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
    Economic Partnership Agreements and the Export Competitiveness of Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-05) Brenton, Paul; Newfarmer, Richard
    Trade can be a key driver of growth for African countries, as it has been for those countries, particularly in East Asia, that have experienced high and sustained rates of growth. Economic partnership agreements with the European Union could be instrumental in a competitiveness framework, but to do so they would have to be designed carefully in a way that supports integration into the global economy and is consistent with national development strategies. Interim agreements have focused on reciprocal tariff removal and less restrictive rules of origin. To be fully effective, economic partnership agreements will have to address constraints to regional integration, including both tariff and non-tariff barriers; improve trade facilitation; and define appropriate most favored nation services liberalization. At the same time, African countries will need to reduce external tariff peak barriers on a most favored nation basis to ensure that when preferences for the European Union are implemented after transitional periods, they do not lead to substantial losses from trade diversion. This entails an ambitious agenda of policy reform that must be backed up by development assistance in the form of "aid for trade."
  • Publication
    Reshaping Global Value Chains in Light of COVID-19: Implications for Trade and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-04) Brenton, Paul; Maliszewska, Maryla
    Global value chains (GVCs) have driven dramatic expansions in trade, productivity, and economic growth in developing countries over the past three decades. Reshaping Global Value Chains in Light of COVID-19: Implications for Trade and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries examines the economic impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on GVCs and explores whether they can continue to be a driver of trade and development. The book undertakes the following: • Assesses what the impact of previous crises, such as the global financial crisis of 2008–09, can say about of the resilience of GVC firms to shocks • Examines what high-frequency data on trade flows can show about the impact of COVID-19 during the sharp global recession of 2020 • Uses discussions with GVC firms to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts of—and their responses to—the COVID-19 shock • Explores simulations from a global economic model to assess the potential longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on low- and middle-income countries and key factors shaping the global economy, including the evolving role of China, the rise of trade restrictions, and policy responses to global warming • Asks what steps countries and international institutions can take to enhance the resilience of GVCs in low-income countries to future shocks. The analysis shows that well-operating GVCs are a source of resilience more than a source of vulnerability. Moreover, steps to maintain and enhance trade contribute to managing a crisis and recovery, while measures to reshore production make all countries worse off. This economic crisis offers countries an opportunity to reshape the global economy into a greener, more resilient, and inclusive system that is better equipped for a changing world. Trade is a powerful tool for achieving this aim.
  • Publication
    Breaking into New Markets, Raising Quality, and Improving Services : Neglected Avenues for Export Diversification
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-09) Brenton, Paul
    Expanding international trade is an important avenue for growth and development in low-income countries. In addition to increasing the quantity of existing export flows, many countries seek to diversify into production and export activities that provide a higher return to the labor and capital resources employed. Export diversity also reduces a country's vulnerability to pronounced price swings in international markets. This note reviews the findings of a series of papers on the diversification process contained in Newfarmer, Shaw, and Walkenhorst (2009). The analysis suggests that there has been too much focus on simply adding new products to export portfolios, which often underscores the use of industrial policies. While such actions are important, a more comprehensive view of diversification, and hence a more comprehensive trade policy, is needed that improves the quality of existing exports, breaks into new geographic markets, and increases services exports.