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456 - The economic impact of the Services Directive: A first assessment following implementation

Author(s): Josefa Monteagudo, European Commission; Aleksander Rutkowski, European Commission; Dimitri Lorenzani, European Commission

The economic impact of the Services Directive: A first assessment following implementationpdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link 

The study presents new data on the barrier reduction resulting from the actual level of implementation of the Services Directive and estimates the impact of that reduction on sectoral trade, foreign direct investment, labour productivity and GDP. It also estimates the impact of the setting up national Points of Single Contact.

Summary for non-specialistspdf(34 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

This paper estimates the economic impact of the actual implementation of the Services Directive across the Member States based on the new data on barriers to cross-border provision and to establishment for the periods before and after the Directive. It is however still an updated prediction or extrapolation exercise rather than an assessment of its full effects, because the period following the implementation of the Directive is too short to yield sufficient data. The study takes into account the domestic impact of barrier reductions on labour productivity, a novelty with respect to previous studies. It concludes that, while the likely effects of the achieved barrier reductions are large, Member States may reap yet additional significant benefits from the Directive if they continue their reform efforts. Besides the reduction of sectoral barriers, the Directive also seeks administrative simplification through the setting up of national Points of Single Contact (PSC). The study estimates an approximate possible economic impact of setting up PSC through the new establishments of service activities. Again it demonstrates that Member States can reap significant additional gains by improvements in the PSC.


(European Economy. Economic Papers 456. June 2012. Brussels. PDF. 86pp. Tab. Graph. Bibliogr. Free.)

KC-AI-12-456-EN-N (online)
ISBN 978-92-79-22977-0 (online)
doi: 10.2765/26367 (online)

JEL classification: F15, F42, D04

Economic Papers are written by the staff of the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, or by experts working in association with them. The Papers are intended to increase awareness of the technical work being done by staff and to seek comments and suggestions for further analysis. The views expressed are the author’s alone and do not necessarily correspond to those of the European Commission.

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