OECD Trade Policy Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected trade policy studies prepared for use within the OECD.

NB. No. 1 to No. 139 were released under the previous series title OECD Trade Policy Working Papers.


Services in Global Value Chains: Trade patterns and gains from specialisation

Within global value chains (GVCs), services and manufacturing activities are intertwined. This report further investigates the role played by services in GVCs by looking at patterns of specialisation in 23 services industries over the period 2000-2014. Relying on the concept of revealed comparative advantage, it highlights that all countries have a comparative advantage in specific services industries, either in services within manufacturing value chains or in services exported as final products to consumers. A value-added approach is important to analyse the specialisation in services. In addition, there are tangible productivity gains out of this specialisation, as well as gains in terms of employment. Finally, empirical results suggest that services trade restrictiveness negatively affects bilateral flows of service value-added within GVCs. Both domestic reforms and the reduction of barriers in partner countries can benefit services sectors and the activities that rely on services inputs.


Keywords: revealed comparative advantage, Services, trade in services, trade in value-added, global value chains, servicification, productivity
JEL: F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; F14: International Economics / Trade / Empirical Studies of Trade; F68: International Economics / Economic Impacts of Globalization / Economic Impacts of Globalization: Policy; L80: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services / Industry Studies: Services: General; F23: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / Multinational Firms; International Business
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