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Exports of services: Indian experience in perspective

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  • Barry Eichengreen
  • Poonam Gupta

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to survey India's experience with exporting services. The authors seek to show that the country's experience is unique in that modern tradable services are a significantly larger share of GDP than in other countries at comparable levels of economic development. This has not always been the case, however; India's out-performance is limited to recent years. Policy initiatives, from trade reform to liberalization of domestic industrial and service sectors, were important for jump-starting the process. Design/methodology/approach – This paper reviews the literature and evidence. It takes a close look at the Indian service sector and specifically information-technology-related (IT) services, seeking to situate the growth in service exports from India in its comparative context. The authors document the role that exports of services have played in the performance of the Indian economy in recent years. They seek to pinpoint the “take-off” in Indian services output and establish the extent to which the country's success in exporting services is exceptional from an international point of view. And they discuss the extent to which India's performance as an exporter of services has been shaped by policies liberalizing the service sector itself and by liberalization of the manufacturing sector. Findings – Panel and country-specific regressions for a cross section of countries point to the importance of a range of additional factors: overall economic development, communications infrastructure, access to foreign technology, and spillovers between the merchandise and service exports. Importantly, however, these factors, jointly or individually, do not wipe out the significance of a dummy variable for India. India, evidently, is a significant outlier as an exporter of services, and even more so as the period proceeds. Originality/value – The paper discusses the country's major policy initiatives, such as trade reforms and liberalization of domestic industrial and service sectors, and their importance for jump-starting the process of services growth and its exports. Regression results show that, in addition to these policies, other factors such as overall economic development, communications infrastructure, access to foreign technology, and spillovers between the merchandise and service exports were important as well.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Indian Growth and Development Review.

Volume (Year): 6 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 35-60

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Handle: RePEc:eme:igdrpp:v:6:y:2013:i:1:p:35-60

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Related research

Keywords: Exports; Growth and development strategies; India; Services; Trade policy;

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References

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  1. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2009. "How remote is the offshoring threat?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 429-444, May.
  2. Barry Eichengreen & Poonam Gupta, 2013. "The two waves of service-sector growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 96-123, January.
  3. Barry Eichengreen & Poonam Gupta, 2011. "The Service Sector as India's Road to Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 16757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Poonam Gupta & Kalpana Kochhar & Sanjaya Panth, 2011. "Bank Ownership and the Effects of Financial Liberalization," IMF Working Papers 11/50, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Caroline Freund & Diana Weinhold, 2002. "The Internet and International Trade in Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 236-240, May.
  6. Arjan Lejour & Jan-Willem de Paiva Verheijden, 2007. "The Tradability of Services within Canada and the European Union," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(4), pages 389-409, June.
  7. P. K. M. Tharakan & Ilke Van Beveren & Tom Van Ourti, 2005. "Determinants of India's Software Exports and Goods Exports," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 776-780, November.
  8. Carolina Lennon, 2008. "Trade in services and trade in goods: differences and complementarities," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586223, HAL.
  9. Arnold, Jens & Javorcik, Beata & Lipscomb, Molly & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2010. "Services Reform and Manufacturing Performance: Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 8011, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Keith Walsh, 2006. "Trade in Services: Does Gravity Hold? A Gravity Model Approach to Estimating Barriers to Services Trade," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp183, IIIS.
  11. James Harrigan, 2001. "Specialization and the Volume of Trade: Do the Data Obey the Laws?," NBER Working Papers 8675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Abdul Abiad & Enrica Detragiache & Thierry Tressel, 2010. "A New Database of Financial Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(2), pages 281-302, June.
  13. Fukunari Kimura & Hyun-Hoon Lee, 2006. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade in Services," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 92-121, April.
  14. Henk Kox & Arjan Lejour, 2005. "Regulatory heterogeneity as obstacle for international services trade," CPB Discussion Paper 49, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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