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The performance of trading firms in the services sectors – Comparable evidence from four EU countries

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  • Joze P.Damijan
  • Stefanie A. Haller
  • Ville Kaitila
  • Mika Malirante
  • Emmanuel Milet
  • Matija Rojec

Abstract

We analyse common stylized facts of services firms engaged in trade in a comparative study across four EU member countries. We find that, though relatively less engaged in trade than manufacturing firms, services firms have similar traits. Services firms are more likely to import than to export. Their prevalent type of trade is trade in goods. The complexity of trade activities is increasing in firm size and productivity. Two-way traders outperform one-way traders. Services are more likely to be traded by firms already engaged in trade of goods. Changes in trading status by either adding another dimension of trade (imports, exports) or another type of product (goods, services) are infrequent and are associated with significant pre-switching premia. In contrast, learning effects from switching trading status are uncommon. This evidence points to significant fixed cost of being engaged in trade. Thus, the literature on heterogeneous firms is able to explain the sorting of firms into trading and non-trading firms in the services sectors as well.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 31712.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:31712

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Keywords: services sectors; exports; imports; trade in goods and services; trade premia;

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  1. Martin Andersson & Hans Lööf & Sara Johansson, 2008. "Productivity and International Trade: Firm Level Evidence from a Small Open Economy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(4), pages 774-801, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Hill, T P, 1977. "On Goods and Services," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 23(4), pages 315-38, December.
  4. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert, 2010. "German Firms in Service Trade," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 51-72.
  5. Stefanie A. Haller, 2012. "Intra-firm trade, exporting, importing, and firm performance," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1397-1430, November.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Lapham, Beverly, 2013. "Productivity and the decision to import and export: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 297-316.
  8. Jonathan Eaton & Marcela Eslava & Maurice Kugler & James Tybout, 2007. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya & T. N. Srinivasan, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," International Trade 0408004, EconWPA.
  10. Kox, Henk L.M. & Rojas Romasgosa, Hugo, 2010. "Exports and productivity selection effects for Dutch firms," MPRA Paper 24390, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Joachim Wagner, 2011. "International Trade and Firm Performance: A Survey of Empirical Studies since 2006," Working Paper Series in Economics 210, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  12. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  13. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
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