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The Impact of COVID-19 international travel restrictions on services-trade costs


  • Sebastian Benz


  • Frédéric Gonzales


  • Annabelle Mourougane



This report casts light on the impact of regulatory restrictions on the movement of people across international borders on services trade costs. Such restrictions were implemented on health and safety grounds following the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020. The analysis relies on several illustrative scenarios in which all the countries are assumed to close their borders to passengers, but leave freight trade open. Services trade costs are estimated to increase by an average of 12% of export values across sectors and countries in the medium term in such a hypothetical scenario. The analysis identifies a large variability in the increase in services-trade costs across sectors and across countries, reflecting the stringency of initial regulations and the relative importance of business travel and labour mobility to international services trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Benz & Frédéric Gonzales & Annabelle Mourougane, 2020. "The Impact of COVID-19 international travel restrictions on services-trade costs," OECD Trade Policy Papers 237, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:237-en
    DOI: 10.1787/e443fc6b-en

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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Trade and Globalization


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    Cited by:

    1. Konstantin Büchel & Stefan Legge & Vincent Pochon & Philipp Wegmüller, 2020. "Swiss trade during the COVID-19 pandemic: an early appraisal," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 156(1), pages 1-15, December.
    2. Sébastien Miroudot, 2020. "Reshaping the policy debate on the implications of COVID-19 for global supply chains," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 3(4), pages 430-442, December.

    More about this item


    COVID-19 (coronavirus); trade in services; travel bans;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F68 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Policy
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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