Recent Publications and Resources

Graphic Nathan Associates

Interim Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cluster Initiatives

The Competitiveness Initiative (TCI) project in Sri Lanka began organizing industry clusters and developing industry strategies at the end of 1999. Since then, USAID projects in many other countries have also pursued the cluster concept to promote competitiveness and encourage private sector development. Despite its popularity, this approach remains controversial. Even today, little evidence exists on the economic impact of cluster initiatives as an effective form of aid intervention to promote economic development. The design of TCI in Sri Lanka and its performance indicators focused on process criteria. Nonetheless, USAID is now rightly asking about the economic impact of the ...
Graphic Nathan Associates

Successful Integration into the Global Economy: Costa Rica and Mauritius

Costa Rica and Mauritius have experienced dramatic growth in exports over the past three decades. They have done this mainly by finding new export products to supplement traditional agricultural exports and by exporting services and more manufactured goods. Exports from Mauritius grew from $89 million in 1970 to $2.8 billion in 2000 a thirty-fold increase. For Costa Rica, the growth over the same period was almost as impressive a twenty-five fold rise from $276 million to $7.4 billion. Most developing countries have sought to achieve such growth, though most have made only modest progress over the same period. In this ...
Graphic Nathan Associates

Saving Corporations From Themselves: Imposing Limits on Corporate Debt

In this study we answer two questions: (1) To the extent that we can quantify the benefits and costs of limiting debt levels, are the benefits greater than the costs? (2) Recognizing that we cannot quantify all of the benefits and costs, are limits on debt level a practical way of reducing the likelihood and costs of financial distress? ...
Graphic Nathan Associates

Customs-related Technical Assistance for Trade Capacity Building

Developing countries’ need for assistance with customs administration is growing rapidly. Assistance is needed especially to meet new commitments under the WTO and other international or regional agreements, and to meet the needs of an increasingly complex web of market linkages. This paper describes Customs shortcomings common among developing countries, Illustrative programs for assistance, Guidelines for designing effective customs projects, and Potential sources of technical assistance ...
Graphic Nathan Associates

Changes in Global Trade Rules for Textiles and Apparel

Textile and apparel producers face great uncertainty after January 1, 2005, when quotas that have long governed world trade in the industry are set to expire under an agreement signed 10 years ago. Some analysts predict catastrophic losses for developing countries, especially in light of China’s accession to the WTO. Others see a potent mix of factors that complicate predictions: quota elimination, China’s accession, proliferating regional and bilateral trade agreements, and various legal maneuvers to counter massive surges of cheap imports. Nathan Associates has examined all these factors for developing countries as a whole and for a number of specific ...
Graphic Nathan Associates

Mainstreaming Trade: A Poverty Reduction Strategy for Mozambique

To lift its citizenry from poverty, Mozambique must grow quickly and sustain that growth over a number of years. At present, however, the internal market is too small and the purchasing power of Mozambican consumers too low to expand production at the rate required to achieve such growth. Improvement in national welfare will instead depend on export growth. The challenge: develop a strategy that will help Mozambique achieve export growth while ensuring that such growth provides economic opportunities and income to the poor. The position of this report is that trade must become an integral part of Mozambique’s strategy to ...
Graphic Nathan Associates

Regional Approaches to Integrating Small Economies into the World Trade System

2002 Regional cooperation as a means for small developing countries to their meet international trade goals has not been effective. The most useful trade capacity-building occurs at the country level. Although donors encourage regional cooperation by providing substantial resources, results are unpromising and supporting regional institutions has not been successful. A different approach is called for ...
Graphic Nathan Associates

The Second Coming of Agricultural Credit

2002 This short paper presents trends in the uses and perceived value of agricultural credit in developing economies and suggests some aspects worthy of further investigation ...