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Greasing the Wheels of International Commerce: How Services Facilitate Firms’ International Sourcing

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Listed:
  • Peter Debaere
  • Holger Görg
  • Horst Raff

Abstract

We use unique plant-level data to study the link between the local availability of services and the decision of manufacturing firms to source materials from abroad. To guide our empirical analysis we develop a monopolistic competition model of the materials sourcing decisions of heterogeneous firms. The model generates predictions about how the intensity of international sourcing of materials depends on a firm’s productivity and the availability of local services. These predictions are supported by the data. We find evidence that more productive manufacturing firms tend to have a higher ratio of imported materials to sales. In addition, we find evidence that services grease the wheels of international commerce: A greater availability of services across regions, industries and time increases a firm’s foreign sourcing of materials relative to sales. Interestingly, this positive impact of local service availability on imports especially applies to stand-alone firms that, unlike multinationals, are less likely to rely on imported or internally provided services.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Debaere & Holger Görg & Horst Raff, "undated". "Greasing the Wheels of International Commerce: How Services Facilitate Firms’ International Sourcing," Discussion Papers 10/01, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:10/01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:10:p:2078-2096 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Woori Lee, 2017. "Services liberalization and GVC participation: New evidence for heterogeneous effects by income level and provisions," CTEI Working Papers series 08-2017, Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute.
    3. João Amador & Sónia Cabral, 2014. "Global Value Chains: Surveying Drivers, Measures and Impacts," Working Papers w201403, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    4. Bernard Hoekman & Ben Shepherd, 2017. "Services Productivity, Trade Policy and Manufacturing Exports," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 499-516, March.
    5. Amador, João & Cabral, Sónia, 2014. "Global value chains: surveying drivers and measures," Working Paper Series 1739, European Central Bank.
    6. Görg, Holger & Jabbour, Liza, 2015. "Availability of business services and outward investment: Evidence from French firms," Kiel Working Papers 2008, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Markus Kelle, 2013. "Crossing Industry Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(12), pages 1494-1515, December.
    8. Raff, Horst & Trofimenko, Natalia, 2013. "World market access of emerging-market firms: The role of foreign ownership and access to external finance," Kiel Working Papers 1848, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Stefano Federico & Enrico Tosti, 2017. "Exporters and Importers of Services: Firm-Level Evidence on Italy," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(10), pages 2078-2096, October.
    10. Holger Görg & Liza Jabbour, 2016. "Availability of Business Services and Outward Investment: Evidence from French Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 797-819, September.
    11. Honggue Lee, 2013. "The Effects of Preferential Rules of Origin on Trade Flows," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 29, pages 379-403.
    12. Markus Kelle, 2012. "Crossing Industrial Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters," Development Working Papers 329, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 27 Mar 2012.
    13. Bianka Dettmer, 2012. "Business services outsourcing and economic growth: Evidence from a dynamic panel data approach," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-049, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    14. Roger Bandick, 2016. "Offshoring, Plant Survival and Employment Growth," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 597-620, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international trade; services; off-shoring; supply chain management; firm heterogeneity.;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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