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The Effects of Transit Systems on International Trade

Carballo, Jerónimo; Graziano, Alejandro G.; Schaur, Georg; Martincus, Christian Volpe


Jerónimo Carballo

Georg Schaur

Christian Volpe Martincus


In this paper, we estimate the trade effects of a transit system upgrading that streamlines border processing in developing countries. Our empirical approach combines transaction level export data from El Salvador with unique data that distinguishes export flows that were processed on the transit system. Our results indicate that the new transit system lowered regulatory border costs and raised exports. At the low end, our back-of-the-envelope estimate of the return to investment is US$ 3-to-1. This evidence informs a policy covered by the 2013 WTO Agreement of Trade Facilitation.


Carballo, J., Graziano, A. G., Schaur, G., & Martincus, C. V. (2022). The Effects of Transit Systems on International Trade. Review of Economics and Statistics, 1-41.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 3, 2022
Online Publication Date May 12, 2022
Publication Date May 12, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 21, 2022
Journal The Review of Economics and Statistics
Print ISSN 0034-6535
Electronic ISSN 1530-9142
Publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press (MIT Press)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-41
Keywords Economics and Econometrics; Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Public URL
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