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Challenges and Prospects in the Measurement of Trade in Services


  • Krushna Mohan Pattanaik

    (Institute for Social and Economic change)


Economic literature has been eloquent in acknowledging the significant contribution of service and trade in services to economic growth. However, such studies fail to provide a workable definition of services and their trade, keeping apart the measurement of the same. Such an approach, consequently, has limited the understanding of the economic dynamics of services and trade in services. This in turn has restricted the development of a database that can capture the full essence of services and trade in services. Further, with the evolution of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the demand for statistics on mode-wise trade of GATS has further compounded the problems of statistics on services and their trade. Since liberalisation of the service sector is an important segment of modern day globalisation, maintaining statistics on GATS mode-wise trade in services will be imperative for any country. It not only facilitates an understanding of the comparative advantage of a country in a specific service trade and negotiation strategies of its partner countries, but also to set its own negotiation strategies for a multilateral trade platform. It is in this context that this paper illuminates the need for data, gaps and revisions required in the existing data in order to capture the GATS mode-wise trade in services. In addition, the paper highlights the multilateral and regional attempts to maintain statistics in line with GATS.

Suggested Citation

  • Krushna Mohan Pattanaik, 2010. "Challenges and Prospects in the Measurement of Trade in Services," Working Papers 241, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
  • Handle: RePEc:sch:wpaper:241

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barry Eichengreen & Poonam Gupta, 2013. "The two waves of service-sector growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 96-123, January.
    2. Seev Hirsch, 1989. "Services and service intensity in international trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 125(1), pages 45-60, March.
    3. Nayyar, Deepak, 1988. "The Political Economy of International Trade in Services," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 279-298, June.
    4. Jens Reinke, 2007. "Remittances in the balance of payments framework: current problems and forthcoming improvements," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Financial aspects of migration: the measurement of remittances, The IFC's contribution to the IAOS Conference, 6-8 September 2006, volume 27, pages 10-23 Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Ramkishen Rajan & Graham Bird, 2002. "Will Asian Economies Gain from Liberalizing Trade in Services?," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2002-22, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
    6. Francois, Joseph & Reinert, Kenneth A, 1995. "The Role of Services in the Structure of Production and Trade: Stylized Facts from a Cross-Country Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1228, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Jansen, Marion & Piermartini, Roberta, 2004. "The impact of mode 4 on trade in goods and services," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2004-07, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    8. Hoekman, Bernard, 2006. "Liberalizing trade in services : a survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4030, The World Bank.
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    Trade; Services; Exports;


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