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Impact of data trade restrictions on IT services export: A cross-country analysis

Shagufta Gupta, Poulomi Ghosh and V. Sridhar

Telecommunications Policy, 2022, vol. 46, issue 9

Abstract: Trade in digital goods and services have witnessed increasing growth in recent years, accompanied by a corresponding increase in data flows across national boundaries. At the same time, governments around the world have enacted data policies that restrict such cross border data flows in their effort to claim sovereignty over data generated from within their countries. However, scholars have long proclaimed that any restrictions to the Internet and associated digital trade will have serious economic consequences. Given this context, we analyze the impact of data policies that impose restrictions on digital trade, specifically on cross border data flows. We construct Market Data Restrictions Index (MDRI), that measures the data restrictions faced by an exporting country from their trade partners. We use a variation of random effect model on a panel data set consisting of 60 countries that contribute to more than 50 percent of IT services export during the period 2006–2017. The results indicate that apart from variables such as Foreign Direct Investment, and Service Value Added, the MDRI of partner countries has a moderate negative effect on IT services export. If countries move from liberal policies to stringent data restrictions, the economies of the country that exports its ICT services to these partner countries is affected substantially. Hence government regulators shall be cautious in imposing stringent data restrictions as it affects global digital trade.

Keywords: Data localization; Foreign direct investment; Service value added; Network readiness index; Correlated random effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C5 F14 F4 F6 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2022.102403

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