A1 - Olivier Cadot
A1 - Ana Fernandes
A1 - Julien Gourdon
A1 - Aaditya Mattoo
A1 - Jaime de Melo
TI - Evaluating Aid for Trade: A Survey of Recent Studies
IS - 2013-33
T3 - Working Papers
KW - Aid for trade (AFT)
KW - trade performance
KW - gravity
KW - impact evaluation
N2 - The paper reviews recent evidence from a wide range of studies, recognizing that a multiplicity of approaches is needed to learn what works and what does not. The review concludes that there is some support for the emphasis on reducing trade costs through investments in hard infrastructure (like ports and roads) and soft infrastructure (like customs). But failure to implement complementary reform – especially the introduction of competition in transport services – may erode the benefits of these investments. Direct support to exporters does seem to lead to diversification across products and destinations, but it is not yet clear that these benefits are durable. In general, it is difficult to rely on cross-country studies to direct AFT. More rigorous impact evaluation (IE) is an under-utilized alternative, but situations of “clinical interventions” in trade are rare and adverse incentives (due to agency problems) and costs (due to the small size of project) are a hurdle in implementation. 
ER -