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Does services liberalization benefit manufacturing firms?: Evidence from the Czech Republic

  • Arnold, Jens M.
  • Javorcik, Beata S.
  • Mattoo, Aaditya

While there is considerable empirical evidence on the impact of liberalizing trade in goods, the effects of services liberalization have not been empirically established. This study examines the link between services sector reforms and the productivity of manufacturing industries relying on services inputs. Several aspects of services liberalization are considered, namely, the presence of foreign providers, privatization and the level of competition. The results, based on firm-level data from the Czech Republic, show a positive relationship between services sector reform and the performance of domestic firms in downstream manufacturing sectors. Allowing foreign entry into services industries appears to be the key channel through which services liberalization contributes to improved performance of manufacturing sectors. This finding is supported by evidence that foreign acquisitions of Czech services providers result in profound changes in the labor productivity and sales of acquired firms. As most barriers to foreign investment today are not in goods but in services sectors, the findings of this study may strengthen the argument for reform in this area.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 85 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 136-146

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:85:y:2011:i:1:p:136-146
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