Call for research proposals: “Economic integration in Latin America: the role of regulations, administrative procedures and physical infrastructure”

January 10 to February25, 2020
Call for research proposals: Economic integration in Latin America

CAF is issuing a call for research proposals titled “Economic integration in Latin America: the role of regulations, administrative procedures and physical infrastructure”.



Despite the great progress observed in Latin America since the 1990s in deepening trade integration, by means of trade agreements that brought about tariff and non-tariff reductions, the current levels of trade and integration, both within the region and with the rest of the world are still far from reaching their full potential. In this context, CAF –development bank of Latin America– issued this call for research proposals covering topics relevant to Integration in Latin America, with a special focus on the role of regulations, administrative procedures and physical infrastructure. Some of the topics of interest for this call were:

  • The effects of trade facilitation and homogenization of trade regulations in the region.
  • Effects of physical infrastructure on trade costs, both within and between countries.
  • Effects of infrastructure on the spatial distribution of production, both within and between countries.
  • Effects of FDI on productivity, employment, skill composition, spillovers, among others.
  • The effects of integration of energy markets on the cost of energy, the performance of the energy sector, and energy trade. Special focus on electricity and/or natural gas.
  • The effect of ICT infrastructure on trade costs, trade levels, and trade composition.
  • Determinants of regional integration levels (trade, FDI) in the last three decades.
  • Determinants of FDI flows in the region.
  • Interaction between ICTs and transport infrastructure in trade and production location decisions.

This call was very successful: we received 124 proposals, including a large number of promising projects submitted by talented research teams. After a careful evaluation of each one according to the selection criteria outlined in the terms and references of this call, the following three proposals were selected (by order of arrival):

  • “Costos y regionalización del comercio en AL: determinantes y dinámica. Una perspectiva comparada”. By Marcel Vaillant, Pedro Moncarz, Manuel Flores and Sebastián Villano
  • “Intra-Bloc Tariffs and Preference Margins in Trade Agreements”. By Emanuel Ornelas and Patricia Tovar.
  • “Railroads, roads, regional specialization, and economic development”. By José Belmar and Diego Rafael Gentile Passaro.

The members of the jury were: Irene Brambilla (UNLP), Lorenzo Caliendo (Yale University), Klaus Desmet (Southern Methodist University) and Pablo Fajgelbaum (UCLA), Lian Allub (CAF), Guillermo Alves (CAF), Walter Cont (CAF) , Christian Daude (CAF) and Pablo Sanguinetti (CAF).