Peter Walkenhorst

Peter Walkenhorst

Born and raised in Germany, Peter Walkenhorst is an international economist, who nowadays lives near Paris/France.

Most recently, Peter has been working as an economics consultant on international development issues, while also lecturing at the American University of Paris. Earlier, he worked in a trio of international organizations: as Division Manager in the Research Department of the African Development Bank, as Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Trade Department, and as Economist in the OECD’s Departments for Economics, Trade, and Agriculture. As part of his work, he has written more than one hundred research and policy papers, mostly in the areas of international and development economics.

Peter received a Ph.D. in applied economics from Stanford University, an MBA from Imperial College London, and undergraduate diplomas in agricultural sciences and economics from University of Bonn.

Below you can find annotated listings of some of his work projects, research publications and university courses, with links to further information.

Projects

While over time Peter has undertaken economic analysis on a variety of countries, sectors, and issues, much of his recent work has focused on three areas of international integration, namely small-scale cross-border trade, regional integration monitoring, and trade competitiveness diagnostics.

  • Analysing small-scale cross-border trade. Small-scale cross-border trade (SSCBT) is of substantial importance in many African countries. The existence of marked price differences due to variations in production capacities, trade barriers, and regulatory compliance costs, combined with the absence of geographical or social separators, motivate many individuals, notably women, to trade small consignments across borders. While the individual consignments might be small in volume and value, the large number of transactions by small-scale traders means that the aggregate value of SSCBT imports and exports can be substantial and sometimes exceeds large-scale, formal trade. Yet, the SSCBT shipments are not captured by Customs, are not recorded in official trade statistics, and, hence, are generally not taken into consideration by polical and economic decision makers. – Several projects that Peter has worked on have tried to gather better information on the extent of SSCBT and the socio-eonomic situation of small-scale traders through field surveys or the establishment of SSCBT monitoring systems.
  • Monitoring regional integration. Regional integration agreements can make it possible to reap benefits from international integration while tailoring the provisions of the agreements to the particular needs and adjustment capacities of the countries involved. Yet, how effective have the RTAs been in achieving their stated objectives? What have been the impacts of the regional preferences on ordinary citizens? To what extent have RTAs contributed to reducing trade transactions costs for private sector firms and small-scale traders? Answering these questions crucially hinges on the availability of high-quality data and indicators. – Peter has worked with several regional integration initiatives, notably the COMESA and UEMOA Secretariats, to gather available data, identify new information sources, and develop relevant outcome indicators.
  • Assessing trade competitiveness. Global trade integration has made it possible for many emerging and developing countries to achieve broad-based economic growth, while others have benefitted less from increased market access. Indeed, the opening of markets has to be accompanied by policies to remove supply side constraints to investment and trade in order to achieve sustainable growth and economic diversification. The assessment of a country's position, performance, and capabilities in export markets, thereby requires the consideration of a large number of factors. – Peter has undertaken several country assessments based on the World Bank trade competitiveness toolkit, with a view to identify the main factors that constrain export expansion and develop targeted policy recommendations to improve the sales prospects of firms in foreign markets.

A more comprehensive listing of recent consulting assignments with the World Bank, OECD, and the United Nations is available on the projects page.

Petite Barriere
Small-scale cross-border trade between Rwanda and DRC at Gisenyi

Publications

Below are a few examples of Peter's research publications. A full listing of all his published articles and reports is available on a separate page. Many of these papers can also be found on Google Scholar and downloaded from research paper repositories, such as IDEAS or ResearchGate.


  • Iza Lejárraga & Peter Walkenhorst, 2013. "Economic Policy, Tourism Trade and Productive Diversification," International Economics, issue 135-136, pages 1-12.

    Over the past two decades, tourism exports have been a major driver of economic growth in many emerging and developing countries. Yet, increased tourism revenues do not automatically translate into structural transformation and broad-based economic development. Drawing on cross-sectional data, this paper gauges the extent to which tourism has contributed to economic diversification in a large sample of developing countries. An econometric model is used to assess the relative importance of a country’s natural endowments, level of development, institutional maturity, business environment, and trade regulations in explaining cross-country differences in linkages between tourism and the general economy. The central findings contain encouraging lessons for developing countries: domains that are more amenable to policy interventions in the short term, such as the business environment or trade regulations, matter most in fostering productive linkages between tourism and the general economy. In contrast, fixed factors, such as land availability, or longer-terms goals, such as advances in the level of development, have less influence.

  • Paul Brenton & Peter Walkenhorst, 2010. "Impacts of the Rise of China on Developing Country Trade: Evidence from North Africa," African Development Review, issue 22(1), pages 577-586.

    Despite the global financial and economic crisis, China has continued to experience strong export-driven growth and, indeed, became the world’s largest exporting country in 2009. This rise of China in international markets presents African countries with growing competition in their home and export markets, but also with new opportunities. This paper focuses on the impacts of these developments on countries in North Africa, which are directly affected by the prominence of Chinese manufacturing. In particular, the analysis addresses two policy questions: First, is competition from China leading to substantial displacement of resources that incur significant adjustment costs while moving to new activities, or are there opportunities to exploit finer patterns of specialization that entail less disruption? And second, will policies that mitigate the impact of competition from China limit the longer-term capacity to exploit new opportunities in the global market? The findings from the empirical analysis suggest that policy makers can support North African producers in the increasingly fierce competition with China by reviewing the regulatory and incentives environment, reducing trade logistics costs, and broadening trade promotion efforts to non-traditional markets.

  • Peter Walkenhorst & Nora Dihel, 2006. "Trade Impacts of Increased Border Security Concerns," International Trade Journal 20(2006)1; pp. 1-31.

    This article uses estimates of changes in frictional trading costs and the GTAP computable general equilibrium model to assess the effects of increased security concerns following the terrorist attacks of September 11 on international trade. As a result of additional security measures, trading companies have been confronted with additional costs relating to transport, handling, insurance, and customs. These costs tend to make international trade more expensive and reduce trade flows. The results from scenario analyses show that regions with high trade to GDP ratios and sectors with elastic import demand suffer the largest trade and welfare losses in relative terms.

  • Peter Walkenhorst, 2004. "Economic Transition and the Sectoral Patterns of Foreign Direct Investment," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade 40(2004)2; pp. 5-26.

    The paper investigates the factors that influence the distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) across countries of investor-origin and manufacturing industries in Poland. The results confirm the general appropriateness of the basic gravity model formulation for FDI analysis in transition countries, as well as important links between FDI, trade, and labor costs. However, considerable diversity across manufacturing industries is found with respect to the extent to which factors such as capital costs and industry competitiveness influence foreign investment activities. Hence, generalizing claims regarding the determinants of FDI flows should be treated with care.

  • Peter Walkenhorst, 2001. "Sugar Sector Restructuring in Poland: Some Benefits and Costs of EU-accession," European Review of Agricultural Economics 28(1); pp. 57-78.

    This paper quantifies some of the costs and benefits for the Polish sugar sector from Poland’s participation in the EU’s common agricultural policy. A non-linear, spatial optimisation model is used. The results indicate potential for substantial efficiency gains from improved access to much needed investment funds and modern production technology. Costs might be incurred due to the introduction of impediments to structural change, such as sugarbeet delivery regulations. Overall, the analysis highlights the importance of decisive privatisation and liberalisation efforts during the pre-accession period.

Teaching

Since 2013, Peter has been a Lecturer at the American University of Paris. He has been teaching undergraduate and graduate students in both the Department of Economics and the Department for International and Comparative Politics. Below is a synapsis of his courses:

AUP
  • Economics of Globalization is an introduction to global economic integration and the institutions that regulate it. The course analyses the causes, nature, and effects of the growing internationalization of economic activity with particular attention to trade, finance, and economic development linkages. It evaluates the arguments of both the advocates and critics of globalization and assesses public policy options for improving international cooperation and global governance.
  • Economics of Sustainable Development familiarises students with concepts and methods that are used by economists for understanding and analysing the sources of market failures that lead to unsustainable resource use, the policy means of correcting these challenges, and the role of market mechanisms to contribute to sustainable outcomes. The course exposes students to some of the existing controversies over diagnostic measures, goals and choices of policy instruments, and the role of markets and governments in relation to sustainable development.
  • Introduction to International Economic Relations is an introductory course in international economics, which aims at providing students with the necessary tools for the understanding and analysis of international economic issues. The first part of the course deals with the theoretical core of international trade and corresponding models, while the second part covers monetary issues relating to foreign exchange and the balance of payments.
  • Principles of Macroeconomics focuses on the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole. It exposes students to a variety of topics, such as the determination of aggregate output, employment and price levels, and interest and foreign exchange rates. The course also discusses the role and impacts of government intervention in the market system through monetary and fiscal policies.
  • Principles of Microeconomics acquaints students with the tools and concepts of economics as applied to the household or firm level. The fundamental role of prices and markets in the allocation of scarce resources is examined. The discussion further extends to cases and conditions under which markets do not work well and the role of government in correcting the resulting market failures.
  • Intermediate Microeconomics is an upper-level undergraduate course that provides a more formal treatment of microeconomic issues. Basic economic models of constrained optimization and equilibrium analysis are introduced and applied to different economic situations. Topics covered include consumer behavior, the economics of uncertainty and information, and theories of the firm and market structure.
  • Economics for Policymaking provides a broad, non-technical treatment of public policy issues that affect contemporary society from an economic perspective. The course represents an introduction to the principles of economics through case studies, issue discussions, and concept reviews. It helps students develop a general understanding of the market system's functioning and failures, and offers a critical and empirical overview of the effectiveness of microeconomic and macroeconomic policies.
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods for Policy Makers offers an overview of quantitative techniques and tools frequently used in applied public policy research, with emphasis on econometric analysis. The course prepares students to evaluate public policy studies that utilize regression analysis, to interpret econometric results, and to perform independent research using real-world data.
  • Political Analysis introduces students to research methods and design used in the social sciences. It teaches students how to gather evidence through the use of established research techniques and how to analyze qualitative and quantitative data. Students are learning how to gather empirical data using surveys, experiments, content analysis, case studies, or field research.

A complete listing of all the courses Peter has taught, including lectures given at institutions other than AUP, can be found in a separate teaching overview.

Other Interests

A long-time amateur photographer, Peter is the editor of apotelyt.com. This website provides decision support for imaging professionals and enthusiasts through applications such as the CAM-parator camera comparison tool. The site generally receives more than 5 000 user visits per day.