ProDoc Trade


Canal Park Lighthouse

ProDoc Trade Programme

The ProDoc Trade is a research and training programme that brings together PhD students and professors from the University of Geneva, the University of Lausanne and the Graduate Institute of International and Development studies, as well as economists working in the Geneva-based International Organisations devoted to trade (mainly the WTO, ITC and UNCTAD). This networking aims at an agglomeration of excellence in research and making the Lémanique area the heart of international trade economics attractive to trade scholars world wide and to first-rate students from around the globe.

The ProDoc Trade provides full scholarships for selected students and consists of a training module and three research modules described below.


Research Modules

Graduate Institute
The ProDoc’s research module at the Graduate Institute is led by Richard Baldwin and focuses on challenges to the WTO-centric trade system from unilateralism and regionalism. Its goal is to identify the economic and political economic underpinnings of the erosion of the WTO’s centricity in the trade liberalisation process in particular with respect to regional and unilateral initiatives. The question of multilateralism vs. regionalism turns around the so-called stumbling bloc versus building bloc issue – i.e. do regional trade agreements help or hinder multilateral liberalisation. On the political economy determinants of unilateral liberalisation, the research focuses on the race-to-the-bottom unilateralism as driven by competition among developing nations for manufacturing plants that are part of intricate international supply chains which rely on the unhindered import and export of parts and components.

University of Geneva
The research module at the University of Geneva is led by Marcelo Olarreaga and aims at estimating non-traditional gains from trade agreements, beyond Haberger’s Triangles. Most of the empirical literature on trade agreements focuses on trade creation and trade diversion while a more recent literature argues that there are gains from trade agreements that go beyond increases in trade flows. Trade agreements can help solve time inconsistency and credibility issues faced by governments, reduce uncertainty, help small governments in the signalling game, etc. The objective of this project is to put a dollar number to these gains, with a particular emphasis on developing countries.

University of Lausanne
The research module at the University of Lausanne is led by Olivier Cadot and aims at understating the evolution of the pattern of trade in parts and components to determine the underlying forces. As multinationals have over the last quarter century set up “regional production networks” and “sliced up the value chain”, the production of any given manufactured good has increasingly involved supply chains that cross national boundaries several times. This should presumably raise the import content of manufactured production and hence the number of geographical sources from which any given country imports at the aggregate level. But what of diversification at the product level? Should imports of each good be procured from more or fewer supplier countries?nts.



The backbone of the training module consists of individual study programmes that are tailored to the needs of each PhD in the research modules. These are principally composed of graduate-level economics courses taught by the regular faculty at the Graduate Institute, UNIGE and UNIL.