WTO Working Papers

WTO working papers usually represent research in progress. Such research may be conducted in the preparation of WTO Secretariat reports, studies or other material for WTO members. The papers are circulated for comment because the WTO considers critical review of professional research to be extremely important.


Telecommunications Services in Africa

The Impact of Multilateral Commitments and Unilateral Reform on Sector Performance and Economic Growth

This paper examines the impact of telecommunications liberalization in Africa on both sectoral performance and economic growth. Besides unilateral measures, we account for WTO commitments fostering the credibility of reforms. Actual regulatory quality plays a major role in bringing down prices and in improving access to telecommunication services in Africa. Competition, notably in the mobile telephony segment, also improves sector performance. Increasing access to mobile networks by 1 per cent translates into a 0.5 per cent increase in real GDP per capita. In Africa, multilateral commitments do not reflect recent reforms. However, at the global level, adherence to the WTO Reference Paper entails lower prices.


Keywords: Africa, Telecommunications services, liberalization, WTO, GATS
JEL: F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; O14: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology; C23: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Single Equation Models; Single Variables / Single Equation Models; Single Variables: Panel Data Models; Spatio-temporal Models; O55: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Economywide Country Studies: Africa; L96: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Telecommunications
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