Services Trade and Policy
Journal of Economic Literature
no. 3, September 2010
A substantial body of research has taken shape on trade in services since the mid-1980s. Much of this is inspired by the WTO and regional trade agreements. However, an increasing number of papers focus on the impacts of unilateral services sector liberalization. The literature touches on important linkages between trade and FDI in services and the general pattern of productivity growth and economic development. This paper surveys the literature on services trade, focusing on contributions that investigate
the determinants of international trade and investment in services, the potential gains from greater trade, and efforts to cooperate to achieve such liberalization through trade agreements. There is increasing evidence that services liberalization is
a major potential source of gains in economic performance, including productivity in manufacturing and the coordination of activities both between and within firms. The performance of service sectors, and thus services policies, may also be an important
determinant of trade volumes, the distributional effects of trade, and overall patterns of economic growth and development. At the same time, services trade is also a source of increasing political unease about the impacts of globalization on labor markets, linked to worries about offshoring and the potential pressure this places on wages in high income countries.
Francois, Joseph, and Bernard Hoekman.
"Services Trade and Policy."
Journal of Economic Literature,
Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
Country and Industry Studies of Trade
Multinational Firms; International Business
Industry Studies: Services: General
Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities: General
International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations