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Are Services Different Exporters?

  • Lööf, Hans


    (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

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.

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Paper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 205.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 07 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0205
Contact details of provider: Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
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  1. Benoît Mulkay & Bronwyn H, Hall & Jacques Mairesse, 2000. "Firm Level Investment and R&D in France and the United States : A Comparison," Working Papers 2000-49, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," NBER Working Papers 8819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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, 02.
  4. 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.
  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. 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).
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