Working Paper, NUPI

The Intangible Globalization : Explaining the Patterns of International Trade in Services

Published: 28 Jun 2016

We identify the determinants of service trade and foreign affiliate sales in a gravity model, using recently collected bilateral data for the OECD countries and their trading partners, as well as new indicators for barriers to service imports and foreign affiliate sales. We emphasize the strong links between service FDI and trade, since a large proportion of trade is facilitated through foreign affiliate sales. Trade barriers and corruption in the importing country have a strong negative impact on service trade and foreign affiliate sales. We find a strong home market effect in service trade, and rich countries do not tend to import more, which may indicate that rich countries have a competitive advantage in service trade. Free trade agreements do not contribute to increased service trade. A full liberalization of international trade in services in our model, lifts exports by as much as 50% for some countries, and no less than 30%.