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The Tradability of Services: Geographic Concentration and Trade Costs

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  • Antoine Gervais
  • J. Bradford Jensen

Abstract

In this paper, we use a unique dataset on the distribution of output and demand across regions of the United States to estimate trade costs for 969 service and manufacturing industries. Our estimation method is a natural extension of the gravity model of trade and identifies trade costs in the absence of trade data. The estimated trade costs are higher on average for service industries, but there is considerable variation across industries within sectors. Using the trade cost estimates, we classify industries into tradable and non-tradable categories. We find that accounting for tradable service industries nearly doubles the international exposure of the US economy, tradable services value added is unevenly distributed across geographical regions, labor productivity and wages are higher on average for tradable industries, and potential welfare gains from trade liberalization in the service sector are sizable.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Gervais & J. Bradford Jensen, 2013. "The Tradability of Services: Geographic Concentration and Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 19759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19759
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    7. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
    8. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Woan Foong Wong, 2010. "Figuring Out the Doha Round," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa91.
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    10. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    11. 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.
    12. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski, 2012. "The Rise of the Service Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2540-2569, October.
    13. Jeremy T. Fox & Valérie Smeets, 2011. "Does Input Quality Drive Measured Differences In Firm Productivity?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(4), pages 961-989, November.
    14. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Lee G. Branstetter & C. Fritz Foley & James Harrigan & J. Bradford Jensen & Lori Kletzer & Catherine Mann & Peter K. Schott & Greg C. Wright, 2010. "Report on the State of Available Data for the Study of International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 16254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2008. "Much Ado About Nothing: American Jobs and the Rise of Service Outsourcing to China and India," NBER Working Papers 14061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Hoekman, Bernard, 2006. "Liberalizing trade in services : a survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4030, The World Bank.
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    Citations

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    1. repec:oup:cesifo:v:63:y:2017:i:2:p:210-234. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:6:p:1155-1183 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bamieh, Omar & Fiorini, Matteo & Hoekman, Bernard & Jakubik, Adam, 2017. "Services Input Intensity and US Manufacturing Employment Responses to the China Shock," CEPR Discussion Papers 12173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. repec:cup:intorg:v:71:y:2017:i:03:p:423-457_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sophie Piton, 2017. "A European Disease? Non-tradable Inflation and Real Interest Rate Divergence," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(2), pages 210-234.
    6. Lederman,Daniel & Pienknagura,Samuel Jaime & Rojas,Diego, 2015. "Latent trade diversification and its relevance for macroeconomic stability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7332, The World Bank.
    7. repec:fip:fedles:00098 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Antoine Gervais, 2015. "Multiregional Firms and Region Switching in the US Manufacturing Sector," Working Papers 15-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Philippe Frocrain & Pierre-Noël Giraud, 2017. "The evolution of tradable and non-tradable employment: evidence from France," Working Papers hal-01695159, HAL.
    10. Jensen, J. Bradford & Quinn, Dennis P. & Weymouth, Stephen, 2017. "Winners and Losers in International Trade: The Effects on US Presidential Voting," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(03), pages 423-457, June.
    11. Arnarson, Björn Thor & Gullstrand, Joakim, 2016. "Linking Services to Manufacturing Exports," Working Papers 2016:27, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 24 Feb 2017.
    12. J. Scott Holladay & Mohammed Mohsin & Shreekar Pradhan, 2017. "Emissions Leakage, Environmental Policy and Trade Frictions," Working Papers 2017-07, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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