Rules of Origin and Trade Preference Utilization Among Least Developed Countries

Published in: Contemporary Economic Policy (2021). doi: 10.1111/coep.12529

by Tobias Sytsma

Read More

Access further information on this document at Wiley Online Library

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This article assesses how the utilization of trade agreements responds to rules of origin revisions that allow for more foreign content in exported products. Using the revision of the rules of origin for apparel products under the European Union's generalized system of preferences as a case study, and a triple-difference empirical framework, the results indicate that rules of origin act as a significant bottleneck to least developed countries' (LDCs) use of trade preferences. However, heterogeneity in the response of utilization rates across products and LDCs suggests rules of origin revisions may not be a panacea.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.