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 Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI): Legal and Accounting Services

This paper presents the services trade restrictiveness indices (STRIs) for the regulated professions of legal and accounting services. The STRIs are composite indices taking values between zero and one, zero representing an open market and one a market completely closed to foreign services providers. The indices are calculated for 40 countries, the 34 OECD members and Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. This report presents the first vintage of indicators for legal and accounting services and captures de jure regulations in force in 2013. The STRI supports the view that legal and accounting services are subject to a relatively high level of regulation. Restrictiveness for legal services ranges from 0.11 to 0.73, with an average of 0.31. Accounting and auditing services show an average of 0.3 and STRI values ranging from 0.13 to 1. The results provide useful policy insights, particularly in order to identify priorities for reform at the national and international levels. Notably, in the case of legal and accounting services, easing a few prominent restrictions could result in a significantly more liberal and competitive market environment.


Keywords: auditing services, regulation, services trade, legal services, services trade restrictions, accounting services
JEL: L84: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services / Personal, Professional, and Business Services; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; F14: International Economics / Trade / Empirical Studies of Trade; K33: Law and Economics / Other Substantive Areas of Law / International Law
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