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Knowledge in Action 2017: Trade & Competitiveness Publications Update

Breaking Down Barriers: Unlocking Africa’s Potential through Vigorous Competition Policy
World Bank Group

This report shows how competition policy can help African countries boost inclusive and sustainable development. Developed in partnership with the African Competition Forum, the study reviews the implementation of competition frameworks in Africa and examines competition issues that affect market performance in three important sectors for Africa's competitiveness: cement, fertilizers, and telecommunications. (2016)

Can Enhancing the Benefits of Formalization Induce Informal Firms to Become Formal?
Experimental Evidence from Benin
Najy Benhassine, David McKenzie, Victor Pouliquen, and Massimiliano Santini

A randomized experiment based around the introduction of the entreprenant legal status in Benin is used to provide evidence from an African context on the willingness of informal firms to register after introducing a simple, free registration process. It also tests the effectiveness of supplementary efforts to enhance the presumed benefits of formalization by facilitating links to government training programs, support to open bank accounts, and tax mediation services. (2016)

Climate Competitive Industries: A Practitioner’s Handbook
World Bank Group

The World Bank Group’s Climate Competitive Industries (CCI) initiative aims to assist client governments in improving the competitiveness of their manufacturing industries, by facilitating the adoption of cleaner technologies and more efficient practices, tailored to the needs of the private sector. This guide is designed to provide practitioners with an understanding of the CCI initiative and step-by-step guidance on how to design, develop, and implement a CCI or equivalent program. (2016)

Connecting Green Technology Entrepreneurs
Implications for Public Program Design
World Bank Group

This study shows how cheaper, quicker, and more efficient connections can be created among stakeholders of green technology innovation in developing countries. It draws insights from a variety of public and private programs that seek to promote connections between entrepreneurs in green technology and other sectors. The report is based on 14 case studies of different programs in more than 80 countries. (2016)

Economic Upgrading through Global Value Chain Participation
Which Policies Increase the Value Added Gains?
Victor Kummritz, Daria Taglioni, and Deborah Winkler

This paper uses two data sets of developing and industrialized countries at the sectoral level to relate global value chain participation as a buyer and seller to domestic value added.  The study finds that global value chain integration increases domestic value added, especially on the selling side, which holds across all income levels. (2017)

A Firm-Level Productivity Diagnostic for Kenya's Manufacturing and Services Sector
Ana Paula Cusolito and Xavier Cirera

This technical note implements a firm-level productivity diagnostic using the census of manufacturing firms and a large services survey in Kenya. (2016)     

Global Trade Watch: Trade Developments in 2016:
Policy Uncertainty Weighs on World Trade
Cristina Constantinescu, Aaditya Mattoo, and Michele Ruta

This edition addresses three questions concerning recent trade developments: What is happening? Why? Does it matter? 2016 is the fifth consecutive year of sluggish trade growth and the year with the weakest trade performance since the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. Trade sluggishness in 2016 is a characteristic of both advanced and emerging economies, unlike in other post-crisis years. (2017)

Global Value Chain Development Report 2017 (coming soon)

A Greener Path to Competitiveness 
Policies for Climate Action in Industries and Products
Etienne Kechichian, Alexios Pantelias, Ari Reeves, Guy Henley, and Jiemei Liu

This report helps chart a path to industrial competitiveness through policy and technology interventions that improve industrial operations. It explores how industrial products can become greener through public standards, while companies and countries maintain, and even increase, competitiveness. (2016) 

Harnessing the Power of Big Data for Trade and Competitiveness Policy
World Bank Group

How should policy makers respond to applied big data when it comes to formulating policy related to trade and competitiveness? Where are the opportunities and pitfalls? This working paper, prepared in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting LLP, highlights T&C data-driven pilot projects underway and shares compelling cases of how big data is changing the way the development community looks at the challenges countries are facing and how they can best be supported. (2017)

How to Make Grants a Better Match for Private Sector Development
World Bank Group

Matching grants are a very popular instrument for private sector development interventions, despite often challenging implementation and insufficient evidence of impact. This report reviews 106 matching grant projects implemented by the World Bank since the 1990s and assesses nine design and implementation features and their links with project outcomes. (2017)

ICT Use, Competitive Pressures and Firm Performance in Mexico
Leonardo Iacovone, Mariana Pereira-López, and Marc Schiffbauer

This paper presents a set of stylized facts on the relation between information and communications technology (ICT) use, firm performance, and competition. (2016)

ICT Use, Innovation, and Productivity   
Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
Xavier Cirera, Filipe Lage, and Leonard Sabetti

This paper examines the links between adoption of information and communications technology (ICT), defined as usage by firms, innovation, and productivity, for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The results suggest that ICT use is an important and robust enabler of product, process, and organizational innovation across all six countries.  (2016)

Making Trade an Engine of Growth for All
The Case for Trade and for Policies to Facilitate Adjustment
International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization

The opening of trade over the past several decades has helped to drive global economic growth, lifting incomes across advanced, emerging, and developing countries. The paper stresses the role of supporting domestic policies and prompt attention to those individuals and communities at risk of being left behind. Together with domestic policies, further trade integration and strengthening of the rules-based trading system will be essential to achieve inclusive global growth. (2017)

Mobilizing the Middle East and North Africa Diaspora for Economic Integration and Entrepreneurship
Mariem Mezghenni Malouche, Sonia Plaza, and Fanny Salsac

This paper advocates for the need to rally the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) professional and skilled diaspora. It discusses the findings of a unique outreach exercise to the MENA diaspora and provides policy recommendations. (2016)

Opportunity versus Necessity
Understanding the Heterogeneity of Female Micro-Entrepreneurs
Gabriela Calderon, Leonardo Iacovone, and Laura Juarez

Entrepreneurs that voluntarily choose to start a business because they are able to identify a good business opportunity and act on it (opportunity entrepreneurs) might be different along various dimensions from those who are forced to become entrepreneurs because of lack of other alternatives (necessity entrepreneurs). To provide evidence on these differences, this paper exploits a unique data set covering a wide array of characteristics, including cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, and managerial practices, for a large sample of female entrepreneurs in Mexico. (2016)

Public-Private Dialogue Stakeholder Mapping Toolkit  
A Practical Guide for Stakeholder Analysis in PPD Using the Net-Map Method
Sumit Manchanda and Anja Robakowski-Van Stralen

This guide provides an option for stakeholder mapping that allows users to design dialogue platforms and determine participants at concept stage; insert a dialogue element into an ongoing project to address specific implementation issues or midway lags; ensure the right participants are invited given a country's unique context; facilitate parts of a dialogue concerned with deepening the understanding of political economy obstacles to reform processes; help bridge the divide between different partners of the dialogue; design a strategic reform communications plan; catalyze reforms by building knowledge and capacity of the right people. (2016)

Reaping Digital Dividends
Leveraging the Internet for Development in Europe and Central Asia
Tim Kelly, Aleksandra Liaplina, Shawn W. Tan, and Hernan Winkler

This study investigates the barriers that are holding back the broader adoption of the internet in Europe and Central Asia.  It identifies the main bottlenecks and provides policy recommendations tailored to economies at varying levels of digital development. (2017)

South Asia’s Turn
Policies to Boost Competitiveness and Create the Next Export Powerhouse
Gladys Lopez-Acevedo, Denis Medvedev, and Vincent Palmade

This report examines three critical and relatively understudied drivers of competitiveness: economies of agglomeration; participation in global value chains; and firm capabilities. It focuses on four case studies in the critical industries of apparel, automotive, electronics, and agribusiness. The report shows that South Asia has great untapped competitiveness potential, including in all four industries studied. (2016)

Strengthening Competitiveness in Bangladesh – Thematic Assessment
A Diagnostic Trade Integration Study
Sanjay Kathuria and Mariem Mezghenni Malouche, Editors

This is the second of a three-volume publication on Bangladesh’s trade prospects. The Diagnostic Trade Integration Study identifies actions centered around four pillars to sustain and accelerate export growth: breaking into new markets; breaking into new products; improving worker and consumer welfare; and building a supportive environment. (2016)

Towards a G20 Strategy for Promoting Inclusive Global Value Chains
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank Group, and International Trade Centre

This paper analyzes the focus of the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group and elaborates priority actions in three key areas:  priority policies for improving small and medium enterprise and developing country participation in global value chains, primarily in the key areas of trade and investment; targeted capacity-building initiatives for better global value chain integration in developing countries; and priority actions to expand data and analytical capacity. (2016) 

Vietnam at a Crossroads
Engaging in the Next Generation of Global Value Chains
Claire H. Hollweg, Tanya Smith, and Daria Taglioni, Editors

This volume, based on a compilation of studies, supports Vietnam’s path to economic prosperity by identifying policies and targeted interventions that will drive development through leveraged global value chain (GVC) participation, taking major shifts in trade policy and rapid advances in ICT into account. Readers will learn about strategic GVC policy tools that can help developing countries achieve economic prosperity in the context of compressed development. (2017)