Trade Policy, Inclusion and the Rise of the Service Economy

Co-organized with the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization

WTO Secretariat
Centre William Rappard
Geneva, Switzerland

Call for Papers (PDF)


  • Over the past two decades, services have been the fastest growing segment of global trade, employment and output. The rise of the service economy has fundamentally altered the economic landscape across the world, and is likely to play a key part in shaping the global economy in the future.

    As a result, services have rapidly moved up trade policy agendas worldwide. In fact, since 2006 77% of all signed preferential trade agreements included substantive services provisions, up from only 16% in the 1990s.

    The unprecedented prominence of services in global trade offers challenges and opportunities that are yet to be sufficiently understood. The analytical void underlying this phenomenon risks resulting in important misalignments between the implementation of trade policy frameworks and the global agenda for inclusive growth.

    Against this backdrop, the Council on Economic Policies, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization are organizing a workshop on 25-26 April, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland, on policy relevant aspects of the links between trade in services and inclusive growth. Papers presented in the workshop will be considered for an expedited review process for a Review of International Economics special issue to be published in 2019.


    We particularly encourage the submission of unpublished empirical work that uses new datasets or exploits policy experiments in a novel and informative way. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

    • What is the effect of services trade on inclusive growth and structural transformation? Is trade in services a promising development strategy for developing economies?
    • How does services trade affect employment, income and gender inequality, quality of and access to service delivery, and innovation?
    • What are key determinants of and barriers to services trade? To what extent have trade agreements reduced them?
    • What policies are needed to increase services trade opportunities for inclusive growth?


    The workshop will start with a welcome dinner on April 24. April 25 will be devoted to paper presentations as well as a policy debate with trade negotiators and other practitioners in the evening. Presentations will continue in the morning of April 26, followed by an exploration of new directions for research in the afternoon. The workshop will take place at the WTO Secretariat.


    Papers should be submitted by February 15, 2018 to . Successful submissions will be notified by beginning of March 2018.

    • Peter Egger, ETH Zurich
    • Ricardo Hausmann, Harvard University
    • Bernard Hoekman, European University Institute
    • Bob Koopman, World Trade Organization
    • Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank
    • Margaret McMillan, Tufts University
    • Chris Papageorgiou, International Monetary Fund
    • Johannes Schwarzer, Council on Economic Policies