Protection and trade in services : a survey
Until recently, trade in services was mostly ignored by iinternational economists, reflecting a perception that services were nontradable. This has never been true. Transportation and travel, for example, have always been important economic activities. In 1995, services trade climbed to a 20-percent share of global trade -no doubt an underestimate, as the most dynamic component of trade in services is telecommunications, which is not being properly captured in conventional balance of payment statistics. The authors survey the literature on trade in services, focusing on thepolicies used to restrict such trade, the gains from liberalization, and the institutional mechanisms adopted in pursuit of liberalization. They argue that technological progress (which makes services more tradable) and iinternational trade negotiations are likely to keep liberalization of trade in services a high-profile policy issue. They suggest that research focus on developing better estimates of the welfare costs of protectionism in the service sector. This will require quantifying barriers to the international exchange of services.
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