Dr. Gideon Ndubuisi

Essays on International Trade: The Roles of Institutions and Imported Intermediate Inputs

Year: 2021

Neil Foster-McGregor and Pierre Mohnen


The rapid increase in cross-border trade promises economic prosperity, especially for countries with good soft and hard infrastructures and macroeconomic conditions. This has spurred a strand of literature examining how these factors enhance or hinder a country’s effective participation in cross-border trade or its ability to gain the economic prosperity associated with cross-border trade. This dissertation contributes to this literature by focusing on four important threads that have gained traction in recent times, including intellectual property rights, export quality, capital controls, and foreign intermediate inputs. Along this line, the first substantive chapter of the essay examines how capital controls affect participation in cross-border trade. Results from the analysis show that capital controls adversely affect exports by increasing the cost of external capital. The second substantive chapter examines the impact of imported intermediate inputs on exported variety, further examining the role of absorptive capacity. The results show a significant positive effect of imported intermediate inputs on exported variety irrespective of whether it is sourced from developed or developing countries. However, the exported variety effects of imported intermediate inputs from developed countries depend on absorptive capacity. The third substantive chapter examines the effect of patent enforcement on the quality of exported products. The results show that effective patent enforcement increases the quality of exported products, with the effect being higher in R&D-intensive industries. Overall, the findings of the thesis imply that imported intermediate inputs, national policies, and institutions matter for cross-border trade, but sector and country characteristics influence the nature of their relationships. The dissertation highlights more specific policy options based on the findings.

Selected publications by Gideon Ndubuisi