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Services are gaining ever more importance in global trade and employment. While there is increasing consensus that the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) represents an inadequate international framework for services trade governance, sound economic policy prescriptions to support ongoing multilateral negotiations remain scarce.

Meanwhile, recent and forthcoming preferential trade agreements like CETA, TiSA, TPP and TTIP are filling the void, with yet unpredictable and potentially significant effects on labour markets. Given the crucial role of the services sector as the world's largest purveyor of employment, gaining a sounder understanding of the nexus between trade policies, services and labour markets is hence of utmost importance.

To that end, this workshop invites submissions on research in the domain of services trade and its implications for the labour market. We are particularly interested in analyses that substantiate specific policy recommendations.

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CEP invites academics and practitioners to submit an extended abstract until August 15, 2015 to [email protected]. Further information is at the link below.

Programme Committee

  • Ejaz Ghani, Lead Economist at The World Bank
  • Marion Jansen, Chief Economist at International Trade Centre
  • Sebastien Miroudot, Trade Policy Analyst at the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate
  • Sebastian Saez, Senior Trade Economist at The World Bank
  • Pierre Sauvé, Director of External Programmes and Academic Partnerships at the WTI
  • Johannes Schwarzer, Trade Policy Fellow at CEP

Ingo Borchert, Batshur Gootiiz, Arti Grover Goswami, Aaditya Mattoo, 29 November 2012

Services trade policies in both the telecommunications and the air transport sector are more restrictive in landlocked than in coastal countries. Why would landlocked countries choose restrictive policies if they have such a big stake in improving international connectivity? This column suggests the explanation could be related to both weak political institutions and adverse location. It adds that trade-facilitating aid will earn a poor return if not accompanied by services reform.

Aaditya Mattoo, Ingo Borchert, Batshur Gootiiz, 17 July 2012

Trade in services is a substantial yet poorly understood area of international trade. This column aims to fill part of the gap. It presents a new database on services trade across over 100 countries in nearly 20 sectors.

Ejaz Ghani, Arti Grover Goswami, Homi Kharas, 12 December 2011

Policymakers in both developed and developing countries now see services as the source of jobs and growth. This column argues that modern services sophistication now surpasses that of the manufacturing sector and explores the reasons why.

Henrik Isakson, 25 June 2011

In a world economy dominated by fragmented supply chains and trade in tasks, the direct contribution of exports to any national economy is overstated by gross-value measures. Since most measures do not properly account for imported inputs and severely underestimate the share of services in total exports, our view of world trade is distorted. This column says our trade policies risk being distorted too.

Ejaz Ghani, Arti Grover Goswami, Homi Kharas, 04 May 2011

Services have long been the main source of growth in rich countries. This column argues that services are now the main source of growth in poor countries as well. It presents evidence that services may provide the easiest and fastest route out of poverty for many poor countries.

Sübidey Togan, 01 April 2011

The services sector accounts for almost three-quarters of GDP in developed countries and nearly half of GDP in the developing world. This column asks why the WTO trade negotiations have made such little progress on liberalising trade in services and outlines a package that could get the support required to change this.

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