DP5625 Services Policy Reform and Economic Growth in Transition Economies, 1990-2004

Author(s): Felix Eschenbach, Bernard Hoekman
Publication Date: April 2006
Keyword(s): economic growth, services, transition economies
JEL(s): F14, F43, O14, O40
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5625

Major changes have occurred in the structure of former centrally planned economies, including a sharp rise in the share of services in GDP, employment and international transactions. However, large differences exist across transition economies with respect to services intensity and services policy reforms. We find that reforms in policies towards financial and infrastructure services, including telecommunications, power and transport, are highly correlated with inward FDI. Controlling for regressors commonly used in the growth literature, we find that measures of services policy reform are statistically significant explanatory variables for the post-1990 economic performance of transition economies. These findings suggest services policies should be considered more generally in empirical analyses of economic growth.