Working Papers

Can Unilateral Policy Decarbonize Maritime Trade? (Job Market Paper)

[draft coming soon]

The international shipping sector is a vital part of the global trading system but also a large emitter of carbon dioxide emissions. In absence of a multilateral carbon policy for the shipping sector, different countries are starting to impose unilateral measures to decarbonize maritime trade. This paper investigates the impact of unilateral policy on global carbon emissions and welfare by combining a unique dataset of container ship movements and transport emissions with a structural model in which trade is routed indirectly through an endogenous transport network. I find that different unilateral approaches can lead to vastly different outcomes. Policies which directly affect the cost of transport such as carbon taxes reduce global transport emissions but also suppress global trade. Other policies which target transport technology by restricting port access to clean vessels can severely distort the allocative efficiency of the global fleet and thereby cause an increase in global transport emissions. I quantify the welfare effect of all unilateral approaches through a series of counterfactuals which jointly account for changes in transport emissions, production emissions and trade. 

Keywords: Carbon emissions, container shipping, transport network, unilateral policy

Presented at (past and scheduled):
2024: GEP/CEPR PhD Conference (Nottingham), Trade Lunch (Science Po), CESifo Area Conference on Global Economy (LMU), Rocky Mountain Empirical Trade Conference (Banff), Chair of Applied Economics Seminar (ETH Zurich), Young Researcher Seminar (Paris 1).
2023: Georgetown Trade Lunch, Leuven-Louvain Trade Workshop.

Exporters and Their Networks: The role of domestic network linkages in export entry

(Revise and resubmit at Review of Economics and Statistics)

with Emmanuel Dhyne and Hylke Vandenbussche

[download latest version] [NBB working paper series]

previously circulated as: Export Entry and Network Interactions - Evidence from the Belgian Production Network

In this paper, we move beyond individual firm characteristics to explain export participation and investigate whether firms’ domestic network linkages can facilitate export entry. Using rich data on buyer-seller linkages in the Belgian production network, we find that network heterogeneity is a key determinant of the extensive margin of trade. Firms linked to experienced exporters via their business transaction network have a key advantage in accessing foreign markets. Network effects however do not scale with network size. Instead they decrease as the network becomes large. We show that this pattern is closely linked to negative assortative matching in the network formation process. This indicates that small instead of large firms benefit most from network effects on the extensive margin of trade.

Keywords: Export entry, buyer-seller network, information frictions, trade barriers, heterogeneous firms

Presented at:
2023: ETSG Surrey
2022: NBB Internal Seminar, RIEF Doctoral Meeting, EOS Conference, SMYE, QMUL PhD Workshop and WIEN workshop, Georgetown Trade Lunch, Maryland Trade Lunch
2021: UCD-LCIS PhD Workshop, Leuven-Louvain Trade Workshop.

Current Research Projects

Monopoly on the High Seas

with Sharat Ganapati, Woan Foong Wong and Oren Ziv

Conglomerates and Trade in the Middle Kingdom

with Jiewei Fang and Honghao Zheng