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Trade in International Maritime Services: How Much Does Policy Matter?

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  • Carsten Fink
  • Aaditya Mattoo
  • Ileana Cristina Neagu

Abstract

Maritime transport costs significantly impede international trade. This article examines why these costs are so high in some countries and quantifies the importance of two explanations: restrictive trade policies and private anticompetitive practices. It finds that both matter, but the latter have a greater impact. Trade liberalization and the breakup of private carrier agreements would lead to an average of one-third lower liner transport prices and to cost savings of up to US$3 billion on goods carried to the United States alone. The policy implications are clear: there is a need not only for further liberalization of government policy but also for strengthened international disciplines on restrictive business practices. The authors propose an approach to developing such disciplines in the current round of services negotiations at the World Trade Organization. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 16 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 81-108

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:16:y:2002:i:1:p:81-108

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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Working Papers 7777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Venables, Anthony J. & Limao, Nuno, 2002. "Geographical disadvantage: a Heckscher-Ohlin-von Thunen model of international specialisation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 239-263, December.
  3. Bennathan, E. & Escobar, L. & Panagakos, G., 1989. "Deregulation Of Shipping - What Is To Be Learned From Chile," World Bank - Discussion Papers 67, World Bank.
  4. Trujillo, Lourdes & Nombela, Gustavo, 1999. "Privatization and regulation of the seaport industry," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2181, The World Bank.
  5. Joseph Francois & Ian Wooton, 2000. "Trade in International Transport Services: The Role of Competition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-057/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Conlon, R M, 1982. "Transport Cost and Tariff Protection of Australian Manufacturing," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 58(160), pages 73-81, March.
  7. Finger, J M & Yeats, Alexander J, 1976. "Effective Protection by Transportation Costs and Tariffs: A Comparison of Magnitudes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 169-76, February.
  8. Joseph Francois & Hugh M. Arce & Kenneth A. Reinert & Joseph E. Flynn, 1996. "Commercial Policy and the Domestic Carrying Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 181-98, February.
  9. Franck, Bernard & Bunel, Jean-Claude, 1991. "Contestability, competition and regulation : The case of liner shipping," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 141-159, March.
  10. Waters, W G, II, 1970. "Transport Costs, Tariffs, and the Pattern of Industrial Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 1013-20, December.
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