The WTO provides analysis and data on economic and trade policy issues, with the aim of deepening understanding about trends in trade and the multilateral trading system. This page provides access to WTO research, databases, publications, webinars and information on cooperation with other organizations.
Search research output by keyword
A keyword search function for research work and databases produced by the Economic Research and Statistics Division is available here.
The WTO's flagship publication on global trade policy focuses on a different theme each year.
A detailed analysis of the latest developments in world trade.
Country-by-country data on trade flows and trade policy measures.
Country-by-country data on the “bound” or maximum tariff rates for over 170 economies and the rates they apply in practice.back to top
Joint publications with other international organizations
The WTO collaborates with other international organizations to focus on specific trade issues. Some of the most recent joint publications include:
So-called disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning, have the potential to transform border management and the conduct of international trade. This publication explores how these advanced technologies can be used to improve the efficiency of Customs processes and to ease the flow of goods across borders.
Trade Therapy: Deepening cooperation to strengthen pandemic defenses (WTO/World Bank)
This publication provides new data on trade in medical goods and services, surveys current policies and proposes an action plan to improve international cooperation to deal with future pandemics.
Cross-border Paperless Trade Toolkit (WTO/UNESCAP/UNCITRAL)
This publication aims at raising awareness of the technical and legal tools that may be used to allow the transition to cross-border paperless trade systems.
Subsidies, Trade, and International Cooperation (WTO/ IMF/OECD/World Bank)
This publication seeks to highlight the potential benefits of closer cooperation among governments on subsidies and considers some areas where this might be pursued constructively.
The Promise of TradeTech: Policy approaches to harness trade digitalization (WTO/WEF)
This publication explores how international policy coordination could advance the adoption of digital technologies and trade digitalization across the world.
The Role of Advanced Technologies in Cross-border Trade: A customs perspective (WTO/WCO)
Using the results of a 2021 survey, this publication sheds light on the opportunities and challenges customs authorities face when deploying advanced technologies such as blockchain.
Standards Toolkit for Cross-border Paperless Trade: Accelerating trade digitalisation through the use of standards (WTO/ICC)
This toolkit provides the most notable and widely used standards in trade digitalization for unlocking the benefits of cross-border paperless trade.
Global Value Chain Development Report 2021 - Beyond Production (WTO/ADB/UIBE/ IDE/China Development Research Foundation)
This publication explores the radical shift underway in global value chains as they increasingly move beyond traditional manufacturing processes to services and other intangible assets.
Accelerating Trade Digitalization to Support MSME Financing (WTO/ICC)
This publication seeks to identify some of the challenges that MSMEs face in acquiring financing and explores the potential of digital technologies to address these challenges.
A Practical Guide to the Economic Analysis of Non-Tariff Measures (WTO/UNCTAD)
This publication provides the main tools for the analysis and empirical assessment of the trade effects of non-tariff measures.
Trade Adjustment in Asia: Past experiences and lessons learned (WTO/ADB)
This publication aims to provide new insights into how Asia’s labour markets and firms have adjusted to trade opening.
Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality (World Bank/WTO)
This publication aims to advance understanding of the relationship between trade and gender equality and to identify how trade can improve the lives of women.
A Practical Guide to Trade Policy Analysis (WTO/UNCTAD)
This publication provides the main tools for the analysis of trade policy, including the quantification of trade flows and trade policies.
An Advanced Guide to Trade Policy Analysis: The Structural Gravity Model (WTO/UNCTAD)
This publication outlines one of the most successful tools for analysis of trade policy, the structural gravity model.
The Role of Trade in Ending Poverty (WTO/World Bank)
This publication looks at the complex relationships between economic growth, poverty reduction and trade, and examines the challenges that poor people face in benefiting from trade opportunities.
Trade and Poverty Reduction: New Evidence of Impacts in Developing Countries (WTO/World Bank)
This publication presents eight case studies to reveal how trade can help to reduce poverty in developing countries.
Global Value Chain Development Report 2019 (WTO/IDE-JETRO/OECD/UIBE/World Bank)
This publication looks at the impact of technological developments, such as robotics and big data, on global value chains.
Investing in Skills for Inclusive Trade (WTO/ILO)
This publication reviews the linkages between trade and skills and between trade and skills development policies.
Working papers represent research in progress. They reflect the opinions of the authors and are the product of professional research. They do not necessarily represent the views of the WTO or its members. They are circulated for discussion and comment as critical review is an important aspect of WTO research.
The special studies make use of economic research to discuss issues of relevance to the WTO and multilateral trade.
The WTO discussion papers are prepared by WTO staff and contributors from other intergovernmental organizations to stimulate discussion on specific issues relating to the multilateral trading system. The opinions expressed are those of the authors.back to top
Research data and tools
The Economic Research and Statistics Division has created various tools and analytical databases that can be accessed or downloaded free of charge.
The gravity model is one of the most successful frameworks in economics. Hundreds of papers have used the gravity model to study and quantify the effects of various factors on international trade.
- Advanced Guide to Trade Policy Analysis: The Structural Gravity Model
- Access to structural gravity database
The portal provides access to a wide range of data on international trade, tariffs, non-tariff measures, trade in value added terms and other indicators. This includes data on trade in commercial services broken down by sector and country.
The Tariff Download Facility contains comprehensive information on WTO members' applied and bound tariffs, mainly for downloading. The data are available for up to six digits of the Harmonized System codes. Tariff Analysis Online shows tariffs on products defined at the highest level of detail (i.e. eight or more digits of the Harmonized System codes). It allows users to compile reports and download data, including on tariffs, tariff quotas, imports and countries' commitments on agricultural subsidies.
I-TIP Goods provides information on WTO members' tariff and non-tariff measures affecting trade in goods. I-TIP Services provides information on WTO members'commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services, services commitments in regional trade agreements, measures applied by members, and services statistics.
The Trade in Value Added (TiVA) database provides data on the value-added components of gross exports and the level of GVC participation broken down by economy and industry. The UIBE GVC Indicator Database provides access to the most widely used trade in value added and GVC indicators. The time series are computed from input-output tables released by the Asian Development Bank, the Global Trade Analysis Project, OECD, the World Input-Output Database and other global initiatives.
The Trade Cost Index has been produced by ERSD to complement other statistics the WTO provides on trade costs, such as average tariffs or the number of non-tariff measures. The aim is to give a sense of the degree of restrictiveness of some of these measures, to measure how trade policy barriers compare to other trade costs, and to indicate who bears these costs.
Tariff Bindings Database: 1996-2011
The Tariff Bindings Database provides estimates of WTO members' tariff binding rates — that is, the maximum upper bound rate at which a WTO member could set a tariff under WTO commitments — from 1996 to 2011. The database covers 143 members and 5,128 products at the HS6 level to allow for comparison across countries.
Trade maps display information on trade per capita, trade to GDP ratio, and WTO members' share in world merchandise or services trade.back to top
Trade Dialogues webinars and lectures
The WTO regularly invites leading experts to share their insights on various trade and economic issues. The webinars and lectures are part of the WTO's Trade Dialogues initiative.
Global Trade Data Portal
WTO trade barometers
The barometers provide “real time” information on the trajectory of world trade. The Goods Trade Barometer and the Services Trade Barometer are intended to complement conventional trade statistics and forecasts.
The WTO's annual trade forecasts and updates can be found here.
- Geneva Trade and Development Workshops
A forum for discussion between academics and researchers working in the area of trade and development. Anyone wishing to present a paper in the workshop should submit it by email to the selection panel: [email protected]
- WTO Chairs Programme
The programme aims to help academic institutions in developing and least-developed economies develop courses on trade policy and disseminate research on trade issues.
- WTO Essay Award for Young Economists
The award promotes high-quality economic research on trade issues. It carries a prize of CHF 5,000.
- Support Programme for Doctoral Studies
The programme allows PhD researchers from developing countries to use a three to six month residency at the WTO to advance the completion of their doctoral thesis.
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