Measuring International Trade in Services
AbstractWorld trade in services has recently been a little under $US2 trillion, about a quarter of world trade in goods. That ratio does not appear to have changed much in the last 50 years. For the US, exports of services have recently been over 40% and imports about 20% of exports and imports of goods, a return, for exports to the ratios of the early 1800s. Imports of services are now increasing more rapidly than exports, but not faster than goods imports. Because measures of service trade are not anchored in any observation of physical movement, they are dependent on definitions of residence. An example of that dependence and the ambiguities it creates is exports of educational services, a domestic activity that becomes an export because students are defined as foreign residents. Since many students later become US residents, the supposedly exported service never leaves the US, or returns to the US unobserved and uncounted. A particularly serious problem of measurement is the growing transfer of intangible US corporate assets to foreign affiliates of US firms, some of which use virtually no foreign factors of production. These transfers, mainly for tax saving purposes, give rise to phantom flows of services from the foreign affiliates to the US and to other countries and remove the exports from the U.S. balance of payments. They make the meaning of measures of the current balances and GDP ambiguous. One possible solution to the measurement problems would be to use measures assigning at least intangible assets to countries of ownership, rather than nominal residence.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12271.
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Robert E. Lipsey. "Measuring International Trade in Services," in Marshall Reinsdorf and Matthew J. Slaughter, editors, "International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization" University of Chicago Press (2009)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
- F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
- F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
- F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-06-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2006-06-17 (Business Economics)
- NEP-INT-2006-06-17 (International Trade)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2005.
"Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1490, CESifo Group Munich.
- Dreher, Axel & Poutvaara, Panu, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2006. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis," KOF Working papers 06-142, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis ," TWI Research Paper Series 8, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
- Kevin H.O'Rourke, 2006.
"War and Welfare: Britain, France and the United States 1807-14,"
The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series
- Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2006. "War and Welfare: Britain, France and the United States 1807-14," Trinity Economics Papers tep2008, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
- Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "Chains of Ownership, Regional Tax Competition, and Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 9224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James R. Hines Jr., 2005.
"Do Tax Havens Flourish?,"
in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19, pages 65-100
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kurt Larsen & John P. Martin & Rosemary Morris, 2002. "Trade in Educational Services: Trends and Emerging Issues," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(6), pages 849-868, 06.
- Robert E. Baldwin & Robert E. Lipsey & J. David Richards, 1998. "Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bald98-1.
- Robert E. Baldwin & Fukunari Kimura, 1998.
"Measuring U.S. International Goods and Services Transactions,"
in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 9-48
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Baldwin & Fukunari Kimura, 1996. "Measuring U.S. International Goods and Services Transactions," NBER Working Papers 5516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Egger, Peter & Eggert, Wolfgang & Winner, Hannes, 2010.
"Saving taxes through foreign plant ownership,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-108, May.
- Fukunari Kimura & Robert E. Baldwin, 1996.
"Application of Nationality-Adjusted Net Sales and Value Added Framework: The Case of Japan,"
NBER Working Papers
5670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fukunari Kimura & Robert E. Baldwin, 1998. "Application of a Nationality-Adjusted Net Sales and Value- Added Framework: The Case of Japan," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 49-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alfons Weichenrieder, 2007.
"Profit Shifting in the EU: Evidence from Germany,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2043, CESifo Group Munich.
- Blomstrom, Magnus & Lipsey, Robert E, 1989. "The Export Performance of U.S. and Swedish Multinationals," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 35(3), pages 245-64, September.
- Jacks, David S., 2006. "What drove 19th century commodity market integration?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 383-412, July.
- Carol A. Robbins, 2009. "Measuring Payments for the Supply and Use of Intellectual Property," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 139-171 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guilló, María Dolores & Pérez-Sebastián, Fidel, 2012. "Neoclassical Growth and the Natural Resource Curse Puzzle," QM&ET Working Papers 12-14, Universidad de Alicante, Departamento de Métodos Cuantitativos y Teoría Económica.
- Florence Duvivier & Carine Peeters, 2011. "The use of expatriates in the offshoring of services - Framework and research propositions," Working Papers CEB 11-059, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Tobal, Martin, 2011. "A Rationale For Evidence On Service Offshoring," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5s4056z6, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
- Roe, Terry L. & Shane, Mathew & Heerman, Kari, 2011. "Macroeconomic Imbalances in the World Economy," Working Papers 109244, University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.
- Rosario Crinò, 2009.
"Service Offshoring and White-Collar Employment,"
391, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Rosario Crinò, 2007. "Service Offshoring and White-Collar Employment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2040, CESifo Group Munich.
- Rosario Crinò, 2009. "Service Offshoring and White-Collar Employment," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 775.09, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Peter Havlik & Olga Pindyuk & Roman Stöllinger, 2009. "Trade in Goods and Services between the EU and the BRICs," wiiw Research Reports 357, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
- Joshua Aizenman & Ilan Noy, 2008. "Links between Trade and Finance: A Disaggregated Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets Volatility and Performance in Emerging Markets, pages 9-28 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dirk Engel & Jochen Dehio & Roland Döhrn & Ronald Janßen-Timmen & Markus Scheuer & Joel Stiebale, 2007. "Internationalisierung der IT-Dienstleister - Eine Bestandsaufnahme," RWI Materialien, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 72, 06.
- Holger Breinlich & Chiara Criscuolo, 2008. "Service Traders in the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0901, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Barry Bosworth & Susan M. Collins & Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2007. "Returns on FDI: Does the U.S. Really Do Better?," NBER Working Papers 13313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alexandra Heath, 2007. "What explains the US net income balance?," BIS Working Papers 223, Bank for International Settlements.
- 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.
- 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.
- Koopmann, Georg & Straubhaar, Thomas, 2008. "Zur Internationalisierung des Dienstleistungssektors," HWWI Research Papers 2-13, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
- 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.
- Rosario Crinò, 2007. "Offshoring, Multinationals and Labor Market: A Review of the Empirical Literature," KITeS Working Papers 196, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jan 2007.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.