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): The Trade Effect of Regulatory Differences

This paper presents indices of regulatory heterogeneity based on the rich information in the STRI regulatory database. The indices are built from assessing – for each country pair and each measure – whether or not the countries have the same regulation. For each country pair and each sector, the indices reflect the (weighted) share of measures for which the two countries have different regulation. Estimates of the relationship between regulatory heterogeneity and trade shows that on average a reduction in the regulatory heterogeneity by 0.05 points is associated with 2.5% higher services exports and that the impact is larger the lower the level of trade restring regulation. The trade costs associated with the average score on the regulatory heterogeneity index (0.26) amounts to an ad valorem equivalent trade cost of between 20 and 75% at low levels of the STRI. Regulation has become slightly more similar from 2014 to 2015 in telecommunications. For the other sectors, countries have become slightly less similar over the same period.


Keywords: regulatory cooperation, trade in services, trade costs
JEL: F53: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations; F15: International Economics / Trade / Economic Integration; F42: International Economics / Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance / International Policy Coordination and Transmission; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
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