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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. Stefano Federico & Enrico Tosti, 2012. "Exporters and importers of services: firm-level evidence on Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 877, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Alan S. Blinder, 2007. "How Many U.S. Jobs Might Be Offshorable?," Working Papers 60, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Kristian Behrens & Gregory Corcos & Giordano Mion, 2010. "Trade crisis ? What trade crisis ?," Working Paper Research 195, National Bank of Belgium.
  4. André Sapir & Bernard Hoekman & Aaditya Mattoo, 2007. "The political economy of services trade liberalization: a case for international regulatory cooperation?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8098, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Joseph F. Francois & B. Hoekman, 2009. "Services Trade and Policy," wiiw Working Papers 60, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  6. 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.
  7. Baldwin, Richard & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2014. "Trade-in-goods and trade-in-tasks: An integrating framework," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 51-62.
  8. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  10. Breinlich, Holger & Criscuolo, Chiara, 2010. "International Trade in Services: A Portrait of Importers and Exporters," CEPR Discussion Papers 7837, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  12. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1996. "With What Skills Are Computers a Complement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 258-62, May.
  13. Sascha O. Becker & Karolina Ekholm & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2009. "Offshoring and the Onshore Composition of Tasks and Skills," IAW Discussion Papers 55, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  14. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert, 2010. "German Firms in Service Trade," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 51-72.
  15. Bernard Hoekman, 2008. "The General Agreement on Trade in Services: Doomed to Fail? Does it Matter?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 295-318, December.
  16. Gathmann, Christina & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "How General Is Human Capital? A Task-Based Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3067, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881, May.
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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.

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