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Abstract

This thesis is about international trade and considers this topic from three different perspectives. The role of trade intermediaries in matching trade partners is analyzed, trade facilitation and its effect on the extensive margin of trade is estimated and finally the linkage between domestic and global value chains is established. The first chapter develops a model of intermediated trade. Importers and exporters match, this takes place either via a direct trade route or via a single intermediary. As information barriers impede direct matching, the intermediary opens up another channel for exchange. It is shown that a dynamic setting can lead firms to switch from indirect to direct exporting. In the second chapter we estimate the effects of trade facilitation on export diversification, as measured by several extensive margins. We find a positive impact of trade facilitation and the results are robust to alternative specifications. Simulation results suggest substantial extensive margin gains from trade facilitation reform are particularly affecting developing countries. In the third chapter we analyze the relationship between domestic value chains and global value chains. Strong domestic linkages across firms cause productivity gains through gains from specialization. This increase in productivity, in turn, should make industries more competitive and facilitate the entry of firms into global value chains. We provide evidence that global value chains have foundations in domestic value chains.

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