Do WTO Commitments in Services Trade Agreements Reflect a Quest for Optimal Regulatory Convergence? Evidence from Asia

28 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018

See all articles by Anirudh Shingal

Anirudh Shingal

S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); University of Bern - World Trade Institute

Martin Roy

World Trade Organization (WTO) - Trade in Services Division

Pierre Sauvé

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: May 2018

Abstract

Literature examining WTO+ commitments in services trade agreements (STAs) has not considered the role of services regulation. We bridge this gap using a sample of 15 South/South‐East Asian countries, given the burgeoning trend of Asian economies towards services preferentialism and the largely WTO+ nature of their preferential services commitments. Our empirical findings suggest that Asian trading dyads with regulatory frameworks that are more similar and more trade restrictive tend to undertake higher levels of WTO+ commitments in their STAs. There is also evidence in our results, including by modes of supply, for WTO+ commitments in Asian STAs being driven by goods trade complementarities, alluding to supply chain dynamics in the region. Such results support the hypothesis that the heightened “servicification” of production generates a demand to lower services input costs arising from regulatory incidence and heterogeneity.

Keywords: Asia, optimal regulatory convergence, preference margins, regional value chains, services agreements, services trade restrictiveness index

Suggested Citation

Shingal, Anirudh and Roy, Martin and Sauvé, Pierre, Do WTO Commitments in Services Trade Agreements Reflect a Quest for Optimal Regulatory Convergence? Evidence from Asia (May 2018). The World Economy, Vol. 41, Issue 5, pp. 1223-1250, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3175638 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/twec.12574

Anirudh Shingal (Contact Author)

S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research ( email )

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Mumbai, Maharashtra 119579
India

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

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50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

University of Bern - World Trade Institute ( email )

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Bern, 3012
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.nccr-trade.org

Martin Roy

World Trade Organization (WTO) - Trade in Services Division ( email )

Centre William Rappard
Rue de Lausanne 154
12111 Geneva
Switzerland

Pierre Sauvé

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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