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CEP 2015 : Employment Effects of Services Trade Reform


When Nov 25, 2015 - Nov 27, 2015
Where Geneva
Submission Deadline Aug 15, 2015
Notification Due Aug 30, 2015
Final Version Due Nov 11, 2015
Categories    economics   trade   services   employment

Call For Papers

Driven by spectacular technological advances and the emergence and intensification of global value chains (GVCs), trade in services has been the most dynamic part of global trade over recent years. The concurrent rise of services trade provisions in existing and forthcoming trade agreements bears testimony to their relevance in contemporary international policymaking.
At the same time, stalled negotiations on services within the context of the WTO and persistent controversies over services provisions in trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and other regional trade agreements reflect substantial discord on the desirability of services trade rules and their optimal design in international treaties.
The outcome of these negotiations is critical for employment. Services have been the key driver of job growth in recent years – directly, but also indirectly through their connection with the broader economy. Its share in global employment in 2013 stood at 45%, as opposed to 32% in agriculture and 23% in industry.
Nonetheless, research on the effects of international trade in services on employment remains scarce. While a growing strand of the literature looks at the links between services trade policy, flows, output and productivity, very little is currently known on labor market outcomes.
Against this background, CEP is hosting a workshop on “Employment Effects of Services Trade Reforms” on 25-27 November in Geneva, Switzerland, to dig deeper into the question of how and to what extent services can benefit from removing barriers to trade and how these benefits can translate into positive employment outcomes.
Guiding Questions
- How did trade policy affect the expansion of services trade and labor market outcomes over the last decades?
- Which services sectors are most important for employment generation and how can services trade reform contribute to expanding them?
- What are the employment links between manufacturing and service sectors, and how does this interplay affect the domestic impacts of services trade reform on jobs in the respective sectors?
- What are the characteristics of workers/firms/jobs in trade-related service industries and what are the implications for the development of human capital and resilience against economic shocks?
Guiding Questions (cont’d)
- What are the employment outcomes of foreign direct investments in the services sector? Do they differ depending on their type (M&A vs. greenfield; market- vs efficiency- seeking FDI)?
- In terms of employment benefits, what are the promises (and limits) of unilateral vs. bi- /multilateral liberalization?
- What is the impact of services trade reform on female labor participation and youth employment?
- What is the employment profile and labor market performance (and impact) of Mode 4 labor supply?
The program will include presentations and discussions of current research as well as policy debates with trade negotiators and representatives from business, IGOs and NGOs. It will start with a welcome dinner on November 25. November 26 will be devoted to six paper presentations as well as a policy debate with practitioners in the evening. Paper presentations will continue in the morning of November 27 followed by an exploration of new directions for research in the afternoon. The program will conclude with a roundtable and dinner with the workshop participants as well as further academics and practitioners. The workshop will take place at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland.
CEP invites academics and practitioners to submit an extended abstract until August 15, 2015 to The extended abstract should not be longer than four pages and should present the questions analyzed in the paper, the methodology proposed to answer these questions, as well as the preliminary results of the research. Successful abstracts will be chosen on the basis of a double- blind peer review. Successful submissions will be notified by August 31 and final papers need to be distributed by November 11.
Program Committee
- Ejaz Ghani, Lead Economist at The World Bank
- Sebastien Miroudot, Trade Policy Analyst at the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate
- Sebastian Saez, Senior Trade Economist at The World Bank
- Pierre Sauvé, Director of External Programmes and Academic Partnerships at the WTI
- Johannes Schwarzer, Trade Policy Fellow at CEP
Important Dates
 August 15, 2015: extended abstract submission deadline
 August 31, 2015: communication of successful submissions
 November 11, 2015: submission of the paper to be presented at the workshop
 November 25-27, 2015: workshop

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