Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement

EMU: why and how it might happen

Trading through platforms: evidence from AliExpress


This paper strives to contribute three things to the literature. The first is a line-sketch theory model that puts consumers into the value chain. It emphasizes the value-creating aspect of superior matching between consumers preferences and the varieties when they can purchase online (and thus have access to a broader range of varieties than is available locally). We indirectly test this by estimating the impact that AliExpress has on exports. AliExpress data is unique in that only Chinese firms can sell and only non-Chinese can buy on the platform. Third, we provide evidence that the introduction of such platforms can support export of domestic value added.

Alternative solutions to the odious debt problem


The doctrine of state succession requires that governments honor the international commitments of their predecessors. Even if a dictator borrows to oppress his own citizens, future generations are required to service the debts and commitments contracted by the dictator. This paper starts by briefly describing possible exceptions to this doctrine by focusing on war and hostile debts. Next, the paper reviews the literature on odious debt and discusses two proposals that could address this issue by using domestic legal principles.

The COVID-19 and bond spreads


Financial markets reacted with a vengeance to the COVID-19 pandemic. We argue that while the spread of the pandemic is statistically significant in explaining changes to bond spreads, it has little additional explanatory power over variables that capture financial stress. Financial markets reacted as in any international financial crisis by penalizing emerging economies exposing existing vulnerabilities. This finding highlights the need for credible, but flexible, sovereign currencies and the need to build up liquidity reserves.

The "burden" of Swiss public debt: lessons from research and options for the future

Income inequality and economic growth: known unknowns


There is an emerging consensus that inequality is adversely related to growth. However, the empirical literature on the links between inequality and growth does not align with this simple narrative, especially because the channels through which inequality may affect growth remain poorly understood.

Assessing national laws for the implementation of CITES: public memo

COVID-19 and trade policy: why turning inward won't work

Export restrictions in times of pandemic: options and limits under international trade agreements


Dozens of governments have banned or limited exports of vital medical supplies and food. Are these legal under WTO and EU law? This chapter argues that while such bans are not allowed in normal times, the rules do not apply when the measures are justified on health grounds, are temporarily applied, and are aimed at preventing or relieving critical shortages of essential products. The only real deterrent to export bans is the threat of foreign retaliation that cuts off access to indispensable imports.

India's lockdown


On March 24, 2020, the Government of India ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown - in full force as we write - restricts 1.3 billion people from leaving their homes. Transport services are suspended, educational institutions are closed, and factories are shut down. This is in line with the measures imposed in most European countries and in the United States, but the sheer scale of the measure- as in the case of most policies in India- is intimidating. Add to this the grim truth of Indian occupational structure and poverty, and you would likely predict what we now see: unending streams of migrants trying to find their way home, the fear of loss of all income, deep privations, and even (in the space of days) hunger, starvation and death.


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