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Exporters and importers of services: firm-level evidence on Italy

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  • Stefano Federico

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Enrico Tosti

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

This work contributes to the small but growing body of literature on international trade in services at firm level. Our dataset, based on a new Bank of Italy survey, provides information on exports and imports of services (excluding transportation and travel) in 2008-09 for almost 3,000 Italian industrial and services firms, divided by partner country and type of service. We report a set of stylized facts on trade in services. We also analyze the choice between export and foreign direct investment in services at the firm level, thus innovating with respect to the previous literature using industry data. The main findings are as follows: the export and import of services is highly concentrated in just a few firms; firm-level variation in trade is positively correlated with firm size and productivity; country-level variation is to a large extent explained by the standard gravity variables; distance strongly reduces trade in services in spite of their intangibility; smaller and less productive firms choose to export rather than sell through foreign affiliates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 877.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_877_12

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Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
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Related research

Keywords: trade in services; firm heterogeneity; intensive and extensive margin; foreign affliates; export versus FDI;

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References

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  1. Oldenski, Lindsay, 2012. "Export Versus FDI and the Communication of Complex Information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 312-322.
  2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Alfaro, Laura & Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang, 2012. "Surviving the global financial crisis : foreign ownership and establishment performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5946, The World Bank.
  4. Mayer, Thierry & Melitz, Marc J. & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P., 2014. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," Scholarly Articles 12330897, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert & Horst Raff & Farid Toubal, 2012. "Cross-Border and Foreign-Affiliate Sales of Services: Evidence from German Micro-Data," Development Working Papers 335, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 16 Jul 2012.
  6. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0795, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Temouri, Yama & Vogel, Alexander & Wagner, Joachim, 2013. "Self-selection into export markets by business services firms – Evidence from France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 146-158.
  9. Kelle, Markus & Kleinert, Jörn, 2010. "German firms in service trade," Economics Working Papers 2010,03, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  10. Francis Kramarz & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2005 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Andrea Ariu & Giordano Mion, 2010. "Trade in services : IT and task content," Working Paper Research 200, National Bank of Belgium.
  12. Robert E. Lipsey, 2009. "Measuring International Trade in Services," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 27-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Joseph F. Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2009. "Services Trade and Policy," Economics working papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  14. Carsten Eckel & J Peter Neary, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Working Papers 200608, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  15. Fillat Castejón, Carmen & Francois, Joseph & Woerz, Julia, 2008. "Cross-Border Trade and FDI in Services," CEPR Discussion Papers 7074, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Davide Castellani & Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Firms in International Trade: Importers and Exporters Heterogeneity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry," LEM Papers Series 2008/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  17. Rudrani Bhattacharya & Ila Patnaik & Ajay Shah, 2012. "Export Versus FDI in Services," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 61-78, 01.
  18. Christen, Elisabeth & Francois, Joseph, 2010. "Modes of Delivery in Services," CEPR Discussion Papers 7912, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Breinlich, Holger & Criscuolo, Chiara, 2011. "International trade in services: A portrait of importers and exporters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 188-206, July.
  20. repec:bla:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:1:p:188-217 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Caroline Freund & Diana Weinhold, 2002. "The Internet and International Trade in Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 236-240, May.
  22. Giuliano Conti & Alessia Lo Turco & Daniela Maggioni, 2010. "Exporters in Services: new Evidence from Italian Firms," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 73-98.
  23. Markus Kelle, 2012. "Crossing Industrial Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters," Development Working Papers 329, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 27 Mar 2012.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ariu, Andrea, 2012. "Services Versus Goods Trade: Are They The Same?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9036, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ariu, Andrea & Mion, Giordano, 2012. "Service Trade and Occupational Tasks: An Empirical Investigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Markus Kelle, 2012. "Crossing Industry Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters," wiiw Working Papers 92, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  4. Elena Biewen & Daniela Harsch & Julia Spies, 2012. "The Determinants of Service Imports: The Role of Cost Pressure and Financial Constraints," IAW Discussion Papers 90, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).

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