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Trading firms and trading costs in services: The case of Sweden

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Abstract

This paper first portraits Swedish services exporters and services MNEs; second it analyses the determinants of services exports and affiliate sales; and third it studies the choice of mode of entering a foreign market. Emanating from a heterogeneous firm internationalization model, the main contribution of the paper is to explore the interaction between firm characteristics and foreign market characteristics, particularly policy-induced services trade barriers, in shaping services trade and investment patterns. Exploiting a large and very detailed firm-level dataset for the 2008-2013 period, the descriptive analysis finds that most exporting firms export one or two products to a few, most often other Nordic countries. Still, firms that export to 25 or more markets account for more than 80% of total export value. Furthermore, firms that export to 20 countries export more than 60% to their main destination country. Similar patterns are found for affiliate sales. Using a gravity approach we then study the determinants of the extensive and intensive margin of exports and affiliate sales in pooled as well as sector level regressions. We find that trade costs, both natural and policy-induced have the largest impact on the extensive margin of trade, suggesting that trade costs facing services exporters are mainly in the form of fixed entry costs. This is further supported by the finding that incumbency is the most important determinant of future exports and affiliate sales, and incumbents tend to be protected and thrive behind trade barriers.

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  • Lodefalk, Magnus & Kyvik Nordås, Hildegunn, 2017. "Trading firms and trading costs in services: The case of Sweden," Working Papers 2017:4, Örebro University, School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:oruesi:2017_004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dorothée Rouzet & Sebastian Benz & Francesca Spinelli, 2017. "Trading firms and trading costs in services: Firm-level analysis," OECD Trade Policy Papers 210, OECD Publishing.
    2. Magnus Lodefalk, 2013. "Servicification of manufacturing - evidence from Sweden," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 87-113.
    3. Guillaume Gaulier & Emmanuel Milet & Daniel Mirza, 2010. "Les firmes françaises dans le commerce international de services," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 435(1), pages 125-147.
    4. Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås & Dorothée Rouzet, 2015. "The Impact of Services Trade Restrictiveness on Trade Flows: First Estimates," OECD Trade Policy Papers 178, OECD Publishing.
    5. Jerry Hausman, 2001. "Mismeasured Variables in Econometric Analysis: Problems from the Right and Problems from the Left," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 57-67, Fall.
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    7. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2010. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-14, May.
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    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Stefanie Haller & Jože Damijan & Ville Kaitila & Črt Kostevc & Mika Maliranta & Emmanuel Milet & Daniel Mirza & Matija Rojec, 2014. "Trading firms in the services sectors: comparable evidence from four EU countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(3), pages 471-505, August.
    15. Dorothée Rouzet & Francesca Spinelli, 2016. "Services Trade Restrictiveness, Mark-Ups and Competition," OECD Trade Policy Papers 194, OECD Publishing.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    services trade; affiliate sales; trade costs; micro data; Sweden;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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