3rd InsTED Workshop, Indiana University, May 13th-15th, 2016

The 3rd InsTED workshop will take place at Indiana University, May 13th-15th, 2016.  Sponsorship by the Center for Applied Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at Indiana University is gratefully acknowledged.

Keynote speakers:

Kishore Gawande (McCombs School of Business, UT Austin)

 Stephen Yeaple (Penn State)

Organizers: Mostafa Beshkar (Indiana), Ben Zissimos (Exeter) and Isleide Zissimos (Vanderbilt)

The workshop will focus on advances at the intersection of institutions, trade and economic development.

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM (last update: May 10th)

Submissions are now closed.

Registration fee: US$ 160.00.  The deadline for registration is April 12th 2016.  Click here to register

We have a block of rooms reserved at the Grant Street Inn:  https://www.grantstinn.com/ The rooms are listed under “InsTED Conference”.  The deadline for booking is also April 12th 2016.

There are two shuttle services that run to the Indianapolis International Airport. They don’t drop off directly at the hotel but they do drop off at locations within a couple of blocks. The two services are:



There are also limo services to the airport:



You can also rent a car at the airport.



Welcome new members

We would like to welcome the following new members of the InsTED network.

Prof. Hamid Beladi (University of Texas at San Antonio) His research interests are the economics of migration of skilled and unskilled labor, international trade in technology, global outsourcing and bi-sourcing, exchange rate pass-through, and fraudulent financial practices.

Prof. Rafael Dix-Carneiro (Duke University) His research fields are  international trade and labor economics.

Prof. Kishore Gawande (University of Texas at Austin) His research fields are econometrics, economic development, global sourcing, international business, and public policy.

Prof. John Gilbert (Utah State University) His research fields are international trade theory and policy, applied general equilibrium modeling, and development economics.

Prof. Peter Sandholt Jensen (University of Southern Denmark) His research interests are economic development, economic history, democratization, and public finance.

Dr. Ryan Monarch (Federal Reserve Board) His research interests are international trade, industrial organization, and the Chinese economy. 

Prof. Jayjit Roy (Appalachian State University) His primary research interest is in international trade.

Prof. Heiwai Tang (Johns Hopkins University) His research interests span a wide range of theoretical and empirical topics in international trade.

Contracting Institutions and International Trade

The quality of contracting institutions is among the most important determinants of the relationship between buyers and sellers engaged in international trade.  Contractual frictions are magnified in international trade by the fact that if one of the parties reneges on a written contract the dispute has to be resolved in local courts (as opposed to international courts) even though the parties are residents of different countries.  This imbalance causes the risk for opportunistic behavior in an international transaction to be greater than in a domestic one and helps to explain why international trade flows are generally significantly lower than domestic trade flows.  Moreover, the fact that contracting institutions are generally worse in developing countries than they are in developed ones means that potential gains from trade are being lost, as is technology transfer from developed to developing countries.   At the same time, recent research has shown that variation in the quality of contracting institutions is actually a source of comparative advantage, which in turn determines trade patterns.

While problems with formal contract enforcement in developing countries tend to exacerbate opportunistic behavior, in some settings informal mechanisms have been put in place to try to improve enforcement.  Informal mechanisms require either repeated interaction leading to reputation and trust or other side constraints to try to improve enforcement.  This is particularly important in the trade of perishable goods where the short life of a product makes it impractical to write and enforce a contract on a supplier’s reliability.  Other mechanisms rely on the financing terms used in the transactions.  An exporter can require the importer to pay for goods before they are shipped, can allow the importer to pay after the goods have arrived at their destination, or can use some form of bank intermediation such as a letter of credit.  The chosen financing terms depend on the countries’ institutional settings of the parties participating in the transaction.  Transactions are more likely to require cash in advance or a letter of credit when the importer is located in a country with weak contractual enforcement.  As an importer develops a relationship with the exporter, transactions are less likely to occur on terms that require prepayment.

The theoretical literature has developed a variety of models that capture institutional features such as enforcement problems, insurance considerations or uncertainty over the parties’ commitment to the relationship.  More recently the availability of microdata has allowed researchers to test the predictions of these models and discover which features are the most relevant for international trade.  Some results suggest that exporters tend to sell larger volumes to countries with good contracting institutions than to countries with weak institutions; experience built via repeated interaction helps exporters to select reliable importers; and banks are more effective than the exporter in pursuing financial claims against importers.


Araujo Luis, Giordano Mion and Emanuel Ornelas (2015) “Institutions and Export Dynamic ” Journal of International Economics, forthcoming.

Antràs, Pol, and Fritz C Foley (Forthcoming) “Poultry in Motion: A Study of International Trade Finance PracticesJournal of Political Economy. [Working paper version]

Greif, Avner (2005) “Commitment, Coercion, and Markets: The Nature and Dynamics of Institutions Supporting  Exchange” In: Handbook of New Institutional Economics, ed. C. Menard and M. M. Shirley. New York: Springer

Levchenko, Andrei A. (2007) “Institutional quality and international trade.” The Review of Economic Studies74(3): 791-819. [Working paper version]

Macchiavello, Rocco, and Ameet Morjaria (2015) “The Value of Relationships: Evidence from a Supply Shock to Kenyan Rose Exports.” American Economic Review, 105(9): 2911-45. [Working paper version]

Nunn, Nathan (2007) “Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts and the Pattern of Trade.Quarterly Journal of Economics 122 (2), pp. 569-600.

Rodrik, Dani (2000) “How Far Will International Economic Integration Go?Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(1): 177-186

Williamson, Oliver (1985) “The Economic Institutions of Capitalism: Firms, Markets, Relational Contracting.”  The Free Press.

The Age of Sustainable Development

” Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world’s most perceptive and original analysts of global development. In this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development.

Sachs offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, this book is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on Sachs’s twelve years as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, his thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, and his recent presentation of these ideas in a popular online course, The Age of Sustainable Development is a landmark publication and clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.” [Publisher’s book website]

Author’s book website

Reviews / Comments

Book review by  Matthew E. Kahn in Journal of Economic Literature, 53(3), September 2015.

Book review by Richard N. Cooper in Foreign Affairs, September 2015.

Book review by James H. Brown in BioScience, August 2015.

Book review by Pavithra Rao in The Africa Report, June 2015.

Book review by Fred Pearce in New Scientist, March 2015.

Book review by Japhy Wilson in Human Geography, 8(2), 2015.

Funding Opportunity: Grand Challenges

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting applications that address specific challenges defined in the grant programs below. For details and application instructions, please visit the new Grand Challenges website. Please note that descriptions of the challenges will soon be available on the website in Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

1) Grand Challenges Explorations is seeking innovative global health and development solutions and is now accepting proposals for its latest application round. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies. Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million.

Proposals are being accepted online until November 11, 2015 for the following challenges:

2) New Interventions for Global Health: Vaccine Manufacturing. This challenge focuses on innovations in vaccine manufacturing platforms designed to lower production cost for vaccines that target diseases of great global burden and that are among the most costly to produce with current technologies.

Letters of Intent will be accepted until November 5, 2015. Read more about this grant opportunity here.

3) In addition, the African Academy of Sciences and the New Partnership for African Development have launched Grand Challenges Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. This program joins others within the Grand Challenges family of grant programs supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its partners. Grand Challenges Africa will build on the global success of Grand Challenges programs in India, Brazil, and South Africa, as well as the strong base of Africa Grand Challenges grantees already funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and USAID. For more information please visit AAS.

They look forward to receiving innovative ideas from around the world and from all disciplines. If you have a great idea, please apply. If you know someone else who may have a great idea, please forward this message.

Furthermore, as a forum for sharing ideas, pursuing new opportunities and keeping abreast of new developments in the field of global health, The Gates Foundation together with Grand Challenges Canada has set-up a LinkedIn group. All you need to join is a free LinkedIn account – go to Global Health Innovations and click “Join”.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.


Job Opportunity: Assistant, Associate or Full Professor – Macroeconomics and International Economics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL

The Department of Economics invites applications for a full-time tenure/tenure track position in the field of Macroeconomics and International Economics. The Department offers a Ph.D. degree, a professional Master’s degree (MSPE), and an undergraduate degree (BA). For information about the Department, see www.economics.illinois.edu. Successful candidates are expected to teach effectively at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, establish and maintain an active and independent research program, and provide service to the department, the university and the profession. The salary will be commensurate with the research record and other accomplishments. The target starting date is August 16, 2016.

Closing date: December 1, 2015

Link to this opportunity

International Trade Conference, Athens, Greece, 2016

The Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), a world association of academics and researchers, organizes An International Conference on International Trade, 13-16 June 2016, Athens, Greece. Please submit a 300-word abstract before 16 November 2015, by email (), addressed to Mr. Athanasios Mihalakas, Academic Member, ATINER & Assistant Professor, The State University of New York, at Brockport, USA.

Please include with this order: Title of Paper, First Name, Family name of all co-authors, Current Position of all co-authors, Institutional Affiliation (University/Organization) of all co-authors, Country of all co-authors, an email address of all co-authors and at least 3 keywords that best describe the subject of your submission. Decisions will be reached within four weeks of your submission.

Should you wish to participate in the Conference as a chair of a session, evaluate papers which are to be included in the conference proceedings or books, contribute to the editing of a book, or any other contribution, please send an email to Dr. Gregory T. Papanikos, President, ATINER & Honorary Professor, University of Stirling, UK ().

Job Opportunity: Integration and Trade Economist Senior

The Inter-American Development Bank, the largest and leading source of financing for regional development in Latin America and the Caribbean, is seeking highly qualified Economists to work in the Integration and Trade Sector. Candidates must have proven research experience in specialized trade and economic integration issues, in particular in areas such as trade-related labor market dynamics, trade finance, transport costs and trade facilitation; foreign investment and financial market integration. He/she will be part of a team with a mission to influence regional policies and IDB loan and technical assistance programs in these areas. 

Link to this opportunity

Call for Papers: Royal Economic Society Conference 2016

University of Sussex, 21 to 23 March 2016

Submissions are invited for the 2016 Annual Conference of the Royal Economic Society, taking place from Monday 21 March to Wednesday 23 March 2016 at the University of Sussex, Brighton.

Submissions of papers and special sessions are invited from academic, government and business economists in any field of economics and econometrics. The deadlines for submissions are as follows:

  • Deadline for the submission of papers: 11 October 2015.  This must be done via the link available on the conference webpage.
  • Deadline for the submission of special session proposals: 1 November 2015.  These should be sent by email to the Programme Chair () and should include a short description of the intended session along with the proposed list of contributors (typically three/four, perhaps including the proposer) and indicative paper titles.
  • Notification of acceptance will be by the end of December 2015, while online registration opens from January 2016.

The keynotes lectures will be given by:

  • Esther Duflo (MIT) – Economic Journal Lecture
  • Kristin Forbes (MIT and MPC) – Hahn Lecture
  • Susanne Schennach (Brown) – Sargan Lecture

In addition to the main conference agenda, there will be a drinks reception on Monday 21 March at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, set in the beautiful Pavilion Gardens, with the opportunity for delegates to tour the Royal Pavilion. The conference Gala Dinner will take place at Brighton’s iconic seafront Grand Hotel onTuesday 22 March.

Further information about the conference, including details of financial assistance for PhD students, is available via the conference webpage: http://www.res.org.uk/view/0/2016conference_home.html

Authors of papers accepted for presentation at the 2016 RES conference will be entitled to submit their papers for possible publication in the associated conference issue of the Economic Journal.

Please feel free to contact the Programme Chair (Richard Dickens) or Deputy Programme Chair (Holger Breinlich) if you have questions about this Call, or the Local Organiser (Dimitra Petropoulou) with wider questions about the conference.