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Crisis-proof services: Why trade in services did not suffer during the 2008-2009 collapse

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  • Ariu, Andrea

Abstract

During the 2008-2009 crisis trade in goods experienced the deepest decline ever recorded. Surprisingly, trade in services came through the crisis unscathed and some service categories carelessly stuck to their growth paths. Using firm-product-destination exports for Belgium, we show that the particular resilience of services is explained by a significantly lower elasticity to demand in export markets. More specifically, services exports tend to decline on average 5% less than exports of goods following a 1% decrease in GDP growth in destination countries. Most of this effect is accounted for by business services, it is more pronounced with respect to durables than to consumable products and it is stronger for OECD exports than for non-OECD. In terms of economic magnitude, if goods had the same elasticity to GDP growth of services, they would have decreased of about half. Conversely, if services had the same elasticity of goods, their fall would have been more than thrice as much. JEL Classification: F10, F14, L80

Suggested Citation

  • Ariu, Andrea, 2014. "Crisis-proof services: Why trade in services did not suffer during the 2008-2009 collapse," Working Paper Series 1691, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20141691
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Bripi & David Loschiavo & Davide Revelli, 2017. "Services trade and credit frictions: evidence from matched bank-firm data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1110, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Lodefalk, Magnus, 2017. "Servicification of Firms and Trade Policy Implications," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 59-83, January.
    3. Andrea Ariu & Elena Biewen & Sven Blank & Guillaume Gaulier & María Jesus González, & Philipp Meinen, & Daniel Mirza & Cesar Martín, & Patry Tello, 2017. "Firm heterogeneity and aggregate business services exports : Micro evidence from Belgium, France, Germany and Spain," Working Paper Research 328, National Bank of Belgium.
    4. repec:spr:weltar:v:153:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10290-016-0274-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. E. Dhyne & C. Duprez & C. Fuss, 2015. "Main CompNet research results," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 103-116, December.
    6. Andrea Ariu & Holger Breinlich & Gregory Corcos & Giordano Mion, 2017. "The interconnections between services and goods trade at the firm-level," Working Paper Research 329, National Bank of Belgium.
    7. Styliani Christodoulopoulou & Oļegs Tkačevs, 2016. "Measuring the effectiveness of cost and price competitiveness in external rebalancing of euro area countries: What do alternative HCIs tell us?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 43(3), pages 487-531, August.
    8. repec:lpe:efijnl:201616 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Minondo, Asier, 2015. "The geography, variety and dynamics of service exports in Spain: a firm-level analysis," MPRA Paper 66993, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Andrea Ariu & Florian Mayneris & Mathieu Parenti, 2016. "Providing Services to Boost Goods Exports: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-43, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. 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.
    12. Stefan Kühn & Christian Viegelahn, 2017. "Foreign trade barriers and jobs in global supply chains," Working Papers 1705, Council on Economic Policies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    service resilience; services and goods trade; trade collapse;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General

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