December 20, 2004

Services trade within Canada and the European Union; what do they have in common?

Regulering en taalverschillen belemmeren dienstenhandel

Press release
Verschillen in de omvang van de bilaterale dienstenhandel hangen vooral samen met de omvang van de economieën en met de afstand tussen beide landen. Daarmee valt echter niet alles te verklaren.

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This paper explains bilateral services trade using a gravity equation and compares the results with trade in goods. We analyse bilateral trade between the provinces of Canada and between the member states of the European Union.

We conclude that the gravity equation explains the variability in services trade very well: market size of the exporting and importing regions and distance are the most important explanatory variables. On average, distance is a less hindrance for services trade than for goods trade.

Differences in languages and the regulation of product markets hamper services and goods trade in Europe significantly. Trade in services is also hampered by regulation in the importing country, but this is not true for goods. Services trade within Canada is twice as high as within Europe measured as share of GDP. Tentative estimates suggest that intra-EU services trade could be much higher if the internal market would function like the Canadian services market.


J.W. de Paiva Verheijden

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