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Free Sky and Clouds of Restrictions

  • Piermartini, Roberta
  • Rousova, Linda

An increasing percentage of trade occurs via air. However, air services are excluded from the WTO Agreement and, as a result, the aviation market is regulated by a plethora of Air Services Agreements. In this paper, we investigate the extent of discrimination -in terms of access to international air services- generated by this system. In particular, using recently available information on Air Services Agreements for 184 countries, we estimate the impact of international air services liberalization on air passenger flows. We find that increasing the degree of liberalization has a positive and significant effect. For instance, the higher degree of air services liberalization among countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) is estimated to account for approximately 30 per cent higher intra-EEA passenger traffic compared with countries that signed Open Skies-type agreements. Our results are robust to the use of several measures of liberalization as well as alternative estimation techniques that address potential problems of endogeneity, heteroscedasticity and data inaccuracy.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 10944.

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Date of creation: 14 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:10944
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  1. 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.
  2. Alejandro Micco & Tomás Serebrisky, 2008. "Competition Regimes and Air Transport Costs: The Effects of Open Skies Agreement," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 46738, Inter-American Development Bank.
  3. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEP Discussion Papers dp0701, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Olivier Boylaud, 2000. "Summary Indicators of Product Market Regulation with an Extension to Employment Protection Legislation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 226, OECD Publishing.
  7. Rauf Gönenç & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2001. "Regulation, market structure and performance in air passenger transportation," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(1), pages 183-227.
  8. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
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