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Service Traders in the UK

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Author Info

  • Holger Breinlich
  • Chiara Criscuolo

Abstract

We provide a novel set of stylized facts on firms engaging in international trade in services, using unique firm-level data on services exports and imports in the United Kingdom in 2000- 2005. Less than 10% of firms trade in services but they can be found in all sectors of the UK economy. While the services sector accounts for 80% of total exports and imports, the frequency and trade intensity of services traders is often higher in sectors such as high- tech manufacturing. Services traders are bigger, more productive and are more likely to be foreign owned or part of a multinational enterprise. These 'trade premia' are smaller then for goods traders, however, with the exception of skill intensity which is higher among services traders. There are also significant differences between exporters and importers of services. Furthermore, we show that most firms only export or import a single service type and trade with a small number of countries. Trade volume, employment, turnover and value added are highly concentrated among a small group of firms trading with many countries and/or in many services types. These firms are characterised by bigger size and higher than average productivity, all of which seem to be principally correlated with more trade along the intensive margin (trade per services and country) .although there are a number of noteworthy exceptions. Interestingly, trade is also concentrated within .rms. The top export and import destination make up 70% of the average firm's total trade and the top services type around 90%. This strong concentration is still present among firms trading with many countries and/or in many products.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0901.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0901

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: International trade; services; firm-level evidence;

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References

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  1. Mirabelle Muuls & Mauro Pisu, 2007. "Imports and exports at the level of the firm: evidence from Belgium," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19711, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Alex Hijzen & Mauro Pisu & Richard Upward & Peter Wright, . "Employment, Job Turnover and the Trade in Producer Services: Firm-level Evidence," Discussion Papers 07/37, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  3. Costas Arkolakis & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2010. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3309, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2005. "Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," NBER Working Papers 11404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2004. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1384-1402, December.
  9. Chiara Criscuolo & Ralf Martin, 2004. "Multinationals and U.S. Productivity Leadership: Evidence from Great Britain," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2004/5, OECD Publishing.
  10. 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.
  11. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2008. "China's exporters and importers: firms, products, and trade partners," Working Paper Series 2008-28, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Keith Head & John Ries & Thierry Mayer, 2008. "How Remote is the Offshoring Threat ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10143, Sciences Po.
  13. Rachel Griffith, 1999. "Using the ARD establishment level data to look at foreign ownership and productivity in the UK," IFS Working Papers W99/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Robert E. Lipsey, 2006. "Measuring International Trade in Services," NBER Working Papers 12271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting trade: firms, industries, and export destinations," Staff Report 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  17. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
  19. Fukunari Kimura & Hyun-Hoon Lee, 2006. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade in Services," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 92-121, April.
  20. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "Service offshoring, Productivity, and Employment," IMF Working Papers 05/238, International Monetary Fund.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chiara Criscuolo & Luis Garicano, 2010. "Offshoring and Wage Inequality: Using Occupational Licensing as a Shifter of Offshoring Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 439-43, May.
  2. Miroudot, Sébastien & Sauvage, Jehan & Shepherd, Ben, 2010. "Measuring the Cost of International Trade in Services," MPRA Paper 27655, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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