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Estimations of Tariff Equivalents for the Services Sectors

  • Lionel Fontagné
  • Amélie Guillin
  • Cristina Mitaritonna

Methodological issues arising from the estimation of tariff equivalents of barriers to services trade are very relevant for policy. These equivalents are used extensively to compute welfare gains and resource reallocations associated with partial liberalization of the sector; any measurement errors will strongly affect the estimated gains. Using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) database, we rely on socalled quantity based methods to derive tariff equivalents from a gravity equation estimated at sectoral level for 9 services sectors and 65 countries. We also estimate trade equations for services using cross section data, and improve on the methodology of Park (2002). We investigate whether relying on cross section rather than panel data leads to differences in the estimated equivalents. Finally, we compare the estimations based on reconstructed and actual data. We conclude that although use of partially reconstructed data (such as GTAP) affects the results, the equivalents obtained are good representations of the magnitude of protection for services in the various countries analyzed, although with larger deviations for developing economies.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2011-24.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2011-24
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  1. 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.
  2. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Nora Dihel & Ben Shepherd, 2007. "Modal Estimates of Services Barriers," OECD Trade Policy Papers 51, OECD Publishing.
  4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  5. Feenstra, Robert C, 2002. "Border Effects and the Gravity Equation: Consistent Methods for Estimation," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 491-506, December.
  6. Fontagné, Lionel & Mitaritonna, Cristina, 2013. "Assessing barriers to trade in the distribution and telecom sectors in emerging countries," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 57-78, January.
  7. Kox, Henk L.M. & Nordås, Hildegunn Kyvik, 2007. "Services trade and domestic regulation," MPRA Paper 2116, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné, 2011. "Economic Impact of Potential Outcome of the DDA," Working Papers 2011-23, CEPII research center.
  9. Joseph Francois & Hans Van Meijl & Frank Van Tongeren, 2005. "Trade liberalization in the Doha Development Round," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 349-391, 04.
  10. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Joseph Francois & Olga Pindyuk & Julia Woerz, 2009. "Trends in International Trade and FDI in Services: a global database of services trade," IIDE Discussion Papers 20090802, Institue for International and Development Economics.
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