February 2004

IZA DP No. 1029: Trade Policy and Labor Services: Final Status Options for the West Bank and Gaza

published in: Journal of Economic Integration, 2003, 18 (1), 60 - 104

This paper considers the policy options of the West Bank and Gaza (WBG) with respect to trade and the exports of labor services. It concludes that i) a non-discriminatory trade policy (NDTP) is unambiguously superior to an FTA with Israel; ii) the WBG should pursue a NDTP with all its neighbors, but only under the condition that the trade policy be open, transparent, and enforced by a credible lock-in mechanism; otherwise, a CU with Israel may be preferable; iii) the PA should establish a system of fee-based permits for Palestinian labor working in Israel, and iv) the PA should consider allowing access by Jordanian workers to the WBG labor market.