Essays on Trade, Infrastructure and Development
My dissertation aims to study the economic linkages between trade and development through a rigorous empirical analysis. In chapter I, using international trade data I estimate the impact of losing unilateral tariff concessions on exports from developing countries. My analysis shows that losing GSP tariff concessions adversely affects developing countries’ exports to the EU and that the impact of the loss is stronger for countries that export more, thus making a strong case for unilateral tariff concessions. In chapter II, I focus on the impact of power outages on firm outcomes in India and find that power outages indeed thwart sales and labor productivity. These impacts are heterogeneous across regions, with firms in economically under-performing regions facing even lower sales and productivity. This confirms that uninterrupted power supply should be a necessary component of any domestic policy mandate that focuses on improving business conditions. In chapter III, I investigate whether firms in South Asia located in industrial enclaves such as an industrial park or an export processing zone, are associated with better outcomes as measured by sales, labor productivity and exports when compared to non-enclave firms. I also look for drivers of such better performance. Although estimates point to a strong positive correlation, I fail to find sufficient evidence of any conclusive channels through which these positive differences between firms might accrue. This raises critical questions that challenge the role of industrial enclaves as vehicles for economic development. Thus, my dissertation emphasizes and ties together the role of international trade policy and a robust domestic infrastructure in achieving economic growth and development.
Pradhan, Mitali, "Essays on Trade, Infrastructure and Development" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29207285.