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Service Trade and Occupational Tasks: An Empirical Investigation

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  • Andrea Ariu
  • Giordano Mion

Abstract

Using micro data for Belgium we investigate the relationship between occupational tasks changes and the rise of service trade. We focus the analysis on the extensive margin and look at the heterogeneous proliferation of firms involved in exports and imports of services across sectors characterized by different tasks changes patterns. Occupational tasks changes display an extremely consistent relationship with participation to service trade across firm groups pointing to strong churning effects. The change in analytical (interactive and routine cognitive) tasks intensity has a positive (negative) impact across the board meaning that, in industries characterized by larger changes, firms have experienced both higher (lower) likelihood of entry and exit. The negative relationship between the change in interactive tasks and service exports participation underlines the special role that proximity between demand and supply plays for services. Interestingly, we find exactly the opposite result (a positive relationship) between the extensive margin of goods exports and interactive tasks. Moreover, our analysis suggests that the change in IT use per se does not strike as being a key underlying force behind the increase in the extensive margin of service exports.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1107.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1107

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

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Keywords: Trade in services; extensive margin; occupational tasks; technological change;

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References

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  2. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2010. "Services Trade and Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 642-92, September.
  3. Giordano Mion, 2011. "Trade crisis - what trade crisis?," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE 336, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  5. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1996. "With What Skills Are Computers a Complement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 258-62, May.
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  8. Becker, Sascha O. & Ekholm, Karolina & Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2013. "Offshoring and the onshore composition of tasks and skills," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 91-106.
  9. Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "How Many US Jobs Might be Offshorable?," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 10(2), pages 41-78, April.
  10. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  11. Richard Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2013. "Trade-in-goods and trade-in-tasks: An integrating framework," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève 13103, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
  12. Hoekman, Bernard & Mattoo, Aaditya & Sapir, André, 2007. "The Political Economy of Services Trade Liberalization: A Case for International Regulatory Cooperation?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6457, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert, 2010. "German Firms in Service Trade," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 51-72.
  14. Christina Gathmann & Uta Schönberg, 2010. "How General Is Human Capital? A Task-Based Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-49, 01.
  15. Stefano Federico & Enrico Tosti, 2012. "Exporters and importers of services: firm-level evidence on Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers), Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area 877, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  16. Caroline Freund & Diana Weinhold, 2002. "The Internet and International Trade in Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 236-240, May.
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  18. Kristian Behrens & Giordano Mion, 2010. "Trade crisis? What trade crisis?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 48910, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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Cited by:
  1. Ariu, Andrea, 2012. "Services Versus Goods Trade: Are They The Same?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 9036, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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