Abstract

This paper studies the impact of transport infrastructure projects of the Belt and Road Initiative on shipment times and trade costs. Based on a new data on completed and planned Belt and Road transport projects, Geographic Information System analysis is used to estimate shipment times before and after the Belt and Road Initiative. Two sets of data are computed to address different research questions: a global database based on an analysis of 1,000 cities in 191 countries and 47 sectors and a regional database that focuses on more granular information (1,818 cities) for Belt and Road economies only. The paper uses sectoral estimates of “value of time” to transform changes in shipment times into changes in ad valorem trade costs at the country-sector level. The findings show that the Belt and Road Initiative will significantly reduce shipment times and trade costs. For the world, the average reduction in shipment time will range between 1.2 and 2.5 percent, leading to reduction of aggregate trade costs between 1.1 and 2.2 percent. For Belt and Road economies, the change in shipment times and trade costs will range between 1.7 and 3.2 percent and 1.5 and 2.8 percent, respectively. Belt and Road economies located along the corridors where projects are built experience the largest gains. Shipment times along these corridors decline by up to 11.9 percent and trade costs by up to 10.2 percent. The paper also shows that these effects are magnified by policy reforms that reduce border delays and improve corridor management.

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http://hdl.handle.net/10986/30582 under the license cc-by
https://academic.microsoft.com/#/detail/3008876098 under the license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo
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https://academic.microsoft.com/#/detail/2897961272 under the license https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/



DOIS: 10.1596/1813-9450-8614 10.1016/j.inteco.2019.07.003 10.17016/ifdp.2020.1274

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Published on 01/01/2018

Volume 2018, 2018
DOI: 10.1596/1813-9450-8614
Licence: Other

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