Measuring International Trade in Services
World trade in services has recently been a little under $US2 trillion, about a quarter of world trade in goods. That ratio does not appear to have changed much in the last 50 years. For the US, exports of services have recently been over 40% and imports about 20% of exports and imports of goods, a return, for exports to the ratios of the early 1800s. Imports of services are now increasing more rapidly than exports, but not faster than goods imports. Because measures of service trade are not anchored in any observation of physical movement, they are dependent on definitions of residence. An example of that dependence and the ambiguities it creates is exports of educational services, a domestic activity that becomes an export because students are defined as foreign residents. Since many students later become US residents, the supposedly exported service never leaves the US, or returns to the US unobserved and uncounted. A particularly serious problem of measurement is the growing transfer of intangible US corporate assets to foreign affiliates of US firms, some of which use virtually no foreign factors of production. These transfers, mainly for tax saving purposes, give rise to phantom flows of services from the foreign affiliates to the US and to other countries and remove the exports from the U.S. balance of payments. They make the meaning of measures of the current balances and GDP ambiguous. One possible solution to the measurement problems would be to use measures assigning at least intangible assets to countries of ownership, rather than nominal residence.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Measuring International Trade in Services , Robert E. Lipsey. in International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization , Reinsdorf and Slaughter. 2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2006.
"Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis,"
KOF Working papers
06-142, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 1490, CESifo Group Munich.
- Dreher, Axel & Poutvaara, Panu, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "Chains of Ownership, Regional Tax Competition, and Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 9224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David M. Cutler & Ernst R. Berndt, 2001. "Medical Care Output and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cutl01-1.
- Egger, Peter & Eggert, Wolfgang & Winner, Hannes, 2010.
"Saving taxes through foreign plant ownership,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-108, May.
- Alfons Weichenrieder, 2009.
"Profit shifting in the EU: evidence from Germany,"
International Tax and Public Finance,
Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 281-297, June.
- Fukunari Kimura & Robert E. Baldwin, 1996.
"Application of Nationality-Adjusted Net Sales and Value Added Framework: The Case of Japan,"
NBER Working Papers
5670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fukunari Kimura & Robert E. Baldwin, 1998. "Application of a Nationality-Adjusted Net Sales and Value- Added Framework: The Case of Japan," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 49-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blomstrom, Magnus & Lipsey, Robert E, 1989. "The Export Performance of U.S. and Swedish Multinationals," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 35(3), pages 245-64, September.
- Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476.
- Axel Dreher & Panu Poutvaara, 2005. "Student Flows and Migration: An Empirical Analysisï¿½," TWI Research Paper Series 8, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universitï¿½t Konstanz.
- Zvi Griliches, 1992. "Output Measurement in the Service Sectors," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril92-1.
- James R. Hines Jr., 2005.
"Do Tax Havens Flourish?,"
in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19, pages 65-100
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Baldwin & Fukunari Kimura, 1998.
"Measuring U.S. International Goods and Services Transactions,"
in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 9-48
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Baldwin & Fukunari Kimura, 1996. "Measuring U.S. International Goods and Services Transactions," NBER Working Papers 5516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Baldwin & Robert E. Lipsey & J. David Richards, 1998. "Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bald98-1.
- Kevin H.O'Rourke, 2006.
"War and Welfare: Britain, France and the United States 1807-14,"
The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series
- Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2006. "War and Welfare: Britain, France and the United States 1807-14," Trinity Economics Papers tep2008, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
- Kurt Larsen & John P. Martin & Rosemary Morris, 2002. "Trade in Educational Services: Trends and Emerging Issues," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(6), pages 849-868, 06.
- Jacks, David S., 2006. "What drove 19th century commodity market integration?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 383-412, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12271. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.