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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it

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  1. Davide Castellani & Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Firms in International Trade: Importers and Exporters Heterogeneity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry," LEM Papers Series 2008/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  2. Carsten Eckel & J. Peter Neary, 2010. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 188-217.
  3. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert & Horst Raff & Farid Toubal, 2013. "Cross-border and Foreign Affiliate Sales of Services: Evidence from German Microdata," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(11), pages 1373-1392, November.
  4. Laura Alfaro & Maggie Xiaoyang Chen, 2012. "Surviving the Global Financial Crisis: Foreign Ownership and Establishment Performance," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 30-55, August.
  5. Bhattacharya, Rudrani & Patnaik, Ila & Shah, Ajay, 2011. "Export versus FDI in services," Working Papers 11/77, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
  6. Joseph F. Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2009. "Services Trade and Policy," Economics working papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  7. 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.
  8. Temouri, Yama & Vogel, Alexander & Wagner, Joachim, 2013. "Self-selection into export markets by business services firms – Evidence from France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 146-158.
  9. Oldenski, Lindsay, 2012. "Export Versus FDI and the Communication of Complex Information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 312-322.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Andrea Ariu & Giordano Mion, 2010. "Trade in services : IT and task content," Working Paper Research 200, National Bank of Belgium.
  13. Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2011. "Market size, competition, and the product mix of exporters," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  14. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
  16. 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.
  17. Robert E. Lipsey, 2009. "Measuring International Trade in Services," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 27-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Carmen Fillat-Castejon & Joseph Francis Francois & Julia Maria Woerz, 2008. "Cross-Border Trade and FDI in Services," Economics working papers 2008-12, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  21. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert, 2010. "German Firms in Service Trade," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(1), pages 51-72.
  22. Christen, Elisabeth & Francois, Joseph, 2010. "Modes of Delivery in Services," CEPR Discussion Papers 7912, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. repec:bla:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:1:p:188-217 is not listed on IDEAS
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