Services Trade Restrictiveness and Services Trade: Making Sense of Inter-Decade Movements
This paper investigates movements in services trade restrictions and their impacts on services trade over an eight-year period (2008-2016). It utilises the latest, most globally inclusive inter-temporal data set available, to draw conclusions about the impacts of shifts in services trade restrictions on the value of trade in services. The dataset covers developed and developing countries, and includes five leading African economies. Both informal and formal quantitative methods are used to draw out insights, the most striking of which is the contrast in the results between developed and developing countries.
For all countries, the aggregate level of services trade restrictions has tended downward (liberalisation), but this shift was only associated with boosts to services trade (both imports and exports) among developing countries (including Africa). Developed countries, which are presumably closer to the limits of services sector development, did not experience noticeable boosts to services trade values as a result of on-going liberalisation.
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