Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Regional Liberalization of Trade in Services

Park, Innwon and Park, Soonchan (2010): Regional Liberalization of Trade in Services.

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Abstract

As the impact of trade in services on the current global financial crisis appears to overtake that of trade in goods, we propose to examine liberalization of trade in services through regional trade agreements (RTAs). The regional liberalization of trade in services is expected to generate significant welfare gains both in the services and goods sectors. However, the quantitative effect of RTAs under GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) Article V has not been sufficiently investigated. We attempt to fill this gap by applying a gravity regression analysis to four major services sectors—financial services, business services, communication services, and transportation services—while controlling for both country-specific and time-varying importer and exporter fixed effects. We find that (i) the RTAs under GATS Article V create services trade among members and do not divert services trade from nonmembers, but the trade-enhancing effect is sector-specific; (ii) the sector-specific trade-enhancing effect ranges from the highest in business services sector to the lowest in transportation services; (iii) the trade effect on aggregate services trade is weaker when we control for the time-varying multilateral trade resistance factor with the time-varying exporter and importer fixed effect, however, the sectoral effects show a reverse pattern; (iv) there is no anticipatory effect expected from services RTA negotiations, unlike the case of trade in goods; (v) there is a complementary relationship between goods and services imports; and (vi) the trade-enhancing effect of RTAs is stronger between developed members compared to the effect between developed and developing countries.

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