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Service innovation and the proximity-concentration trade-off model of trade and FDI


  • Fulvio, Castellacci


This paper introduces service innovation in the proximity-concentration trade-off model of trade and FDI (Helpman, Melitz and Yeaple, 2004). The idea is that innovation will have two main effects on service firms’ choice between exports and FDI. First, innovative firms will on average have higher productivity levels than non-innovative enterprises. Secondly, innovators will have to pay a higher relational distance cost for undertaking export activities, and they will therefore prefer to avoid (or reduce) these costs by choosing a FDI strategy instead. We test the empirical relevance of this idea on a new survey dataset for a representative sample of firms in all business service sectors in Norway. The results show that firms are more likely to choose FDI rather than export the greater their productivity level and the higher the relational distance costs they face.

Suggested Citation

  • Fulvio, Castellacci, 2011. "Service innovation and the proximity-concentration trade-off model of trade and FDI," MPRA Paper 31002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    2. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan & Szeidl, Adam, 2006. "Optimal integration strategies for the multinational firm," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 216-238, September.
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    6. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    7. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
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    11. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Castellacci, Fulvio, 2008. "Technological paradigms, regimes and trajectories: Manufacturing and service industries in a new taxonomy of sectoral patterns of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 978-994, July.
    13. Fulvio Castellacci, 2011. "How does competition affect the relationship between innovation and productivity? Estimation of a CDM model for Norway," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 637-658, August.
    14. Andreas Moxnes, 2010. "Are sunk costs in exporting country specific?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 467-493, May.
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    16. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
    17. 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.
    18. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Witell, Lars & Snyder, Hannah & Gustafsson, Anders & Fombelle, Paul & Kristensson, Per, 2016. "Defining service innovation: A review and synthesis," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 2863-2872.
    2. Fulvio Castellacci, 2014. "Service Firms Heterogeneity, International Collaborations and Export Participation," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 259-285, June.

    More about this item


    Service sectors; innovation; export; FDI; firm heterogeneity; survey data;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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