The Border Labyrinth: Information Technologies and Trade in the Presence of Multiple Agencies

Jun 2016
Firms selling products abroad usually have to interact with several borderagencies that develop multiple trade regulations and oversee their
compliance. These regulations establish the procedures that these firms have
to follow and the documents that they have to obtain, fill in, and submit for
their exports to be authorized. In this paper, we estimate the effects of
introducing information technologies as a new means to complete such traderelated procedures. In particular, we use highly disaggregated firm-level
export data from Costa Rica over the period 2007-2013 and exploit the
gradual phase-in of an electronic trade single window scheme across groups
of products and ports. Results suggest that this new system has been
associated with both an expansion in the number of exporting firms and
increased firms' exports along the shipment extensive margin and the buyer
extensive and intensive margins.