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Exporters and importers of services: firm-level evidence on Italy

  • Stefano Federico

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Enrico Tosti

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

This work contributes to the small but growing body of literature on international trade in services at firm level. Our dataset, based on a new Bank of Italy survey, provides information on exports and imports of services (excluding transportation and travel) in 2008-09 for almost 3,000 Italian industrial and services firms, divided by partner country and type of service. We report a set of stylized facts on trade in services. We also analyze the choice between export and foreign direct investment in services at the firm level, thus innovating with respect to the previous literature using industry data. The main findings are as follows: the export and import of services is highly concentrated in just a few firms; firm-level variation in trade is positively correlated with firm size and productivity; country-level variation is to a large extent explained by the standard gravity variables; distance strongly reduces trade in services in spite of their intangibility; smaller and less productive firms choose to export rather than sell through foreign affiliates.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2012/2012-0877/en_tema_877.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 877.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_877_12
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  1. Marc Melitz & Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, . "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," Working Paper 64736, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  2. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert & Horst Raff & Farid Toubal, 2012. "Cross-Border and Foreign-Affiliate Sales of Services: Evidence from German Micro-Data," Development Working Papers 335, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 16 Jul 2012.
  3. Christen, Elisabeth & Francois, Joseph, 2010. "Modes of Delivery in Services," CEPR Discussion Papers 7912, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," NBER Working Papers 14610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Wagner, Joachim & Temouri, Yama & Vogel, Alexander, 2011. "Self-Selection into Export Markets by Business Services Firms: Evidence from France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48700, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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  11. Peter Neary & Carsten Eckel, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Economics Series Working Papers 292, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert, 2010. "German Firms in Service Trade," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 51-72.
  13. 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.
  14. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Markus Kelle, 2012. "Crossing Industrial Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters," Development Working Papers 329, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 27 Mar 2012.
  16. Carmen Fillat-Castejón & Joseph F. Francois & Julia Wörz, 2009. "Cross-Border Trade and FDI in Services," wiiw Working Papers 50, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  17. Giuliano Conti & Alessia Lo Turco & Daniela Maggioni, 2010. "Exporters in Services: new Evidence from Italian Firms," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 73-98.
  18. Robert E. Lipsey, 2006. "Measuring International Trade in Services," NBER Working Papers 12271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Alfaro, Laura & Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang, 2012. "Surviving the global financial crisis : foreign ownership and establishment performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5946, The World Bank.
  21. Oldenski, Lindsay, 2012. "Export Versus FDI and the Communication of Complex Information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 312-322.
  22. Andrea Ariu & Giordano Mion, 2010. "Trade in services : IT and task content," Working Paper Research 200, National Bank of Belgium.
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