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Are Services Different Exporters?

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  • Hans Lööf

Abstract

Using an unbalanced panel of about 260,000 Swedish firm-level observations over the period 1997 – 2006, this paper shows that half of the firms exporting goods are service firms that account for a substantial and increasing share of the total value from exports of goods. Between 1997 and 2006 this fraction increased from 25% to 34%. Previous research provides little systematic evidence of this extension of goods exports among service firms or the benefits of exporting. This paper shows that service firms do become exporters for the same reasons as manufacturing firms. Besides, they are a self-selection of larger, more productive and high-equity firms, with more skilled labour, higher capital intensity and stronger links to multinational groups. However, the export productivity premium is larger for service firms than for manufacturers. No evidence is found to indicate that exporting increases the growth rate of productivity. In contrast, the annual employment growth premium from exporting is substantial for business services, 2% per year, compared to 0.5% for the retail and wholesale business. Employment growth among manufacturing firms also benefits from expanded market opportunities in foreign markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Lööf, 2010. "Are Services Different Exporters?," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 99-117.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqaeq:v56_y2010_i1_q1_p99-117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 986-1018, October.
    2. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    3. Pfaffermayr, Michael & Bellak, Christian, 2000. "Why foreign-owned firms are different : a conceptual framework and empirical evidence for Austria," HWWA Discussion Papers 115, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    4. Benoit Mulkay & Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 2000. "Firm Level Investment and R&D in France and the United States: A Comparison," NBER Working Papers 8038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Martin Andersson & Hans Lˆˆf, 2009. "Learning-by-Exporting Revisited: The Role of Intensity and Persistence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 893-916, December.
    6. James R. Brown & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 2009. "Financing Innovation and Growth: Cash Flow, External Equity, and the 1990s R&D Boom," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 151-185, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yvonne Wolfmayr & Elisabeth Christen & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2013. "Pattern, Determinants and Dynamics of Austrian Service Exports – A Firmlevel Analysis," FIW Research Reports series IV-005, FIW.
    2. Joachim Wagner, 2012. "International trade and firm performance: a survey of empirical studies since 2006," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(2), pages 235-267, June.
    3. TANAKA Ayumu, 2011. "Multinationals in the Services and Manufacturing Sectors: A firm-level analysis using Japanese data," Discussion papers 11059, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Iza Lejárraga & Harald Oberhofer, 2015. "Performance of small- and medium-sized enterprises in services trade: evidence from French firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 673-702, October.
    5. Joachim Wagner, 2011. "Productivity and International Firm Activities: What do we know?," Working Paper Series in Economics 194, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    6. Konstantins Benkovskis & Olegs Tkacevs, 2015. "Everything you always wanted to know about Latvia's service exporters (but were afraid to ask)," Working Papers 2015/06, Latvijas Banka.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    export productivity premium; manufacturing; services; micro data; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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