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Are trade costs higher for services than for manufactures? Evidence from firm-level data


  • Minondo, Asier


Using a unique database, I estimate the costs of trading with European Union countries, relative to the costs of trading with the domestic market, for services and manufacturing firms located in the Basque Country region of Spain. I find that, despite the dramatic improvement in information and communication technologies, international trade costs for services are still much larger than for manufactures. Based on standard elasticities of substitution used in the literature, our results suggest that the tariff equivalent of international trade costs is between 50% and 60% larger for services than for manufactures.

Suggested Citation

  • Minondo, Asier, 2012. "Are trade costs higher for services than for manufactures? Evidence from firm-level data," MPRA Paper 36185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36185

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2010. "Services Trade and Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 642-692, September.
    2. James E. Anderson & Catherine A. Milot & Yoto V. Yotov, 2011. "The Incidence of Geography on Canada's Services Trade," NBER Working Papers 17630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Martina Lawless, 2010. "Deconstructing gravity: trade costs and extensive and intensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1149-1172, November.
    5. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
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    More about this item


    trade costs; exports; services; manufactures; firm-level evidence; Basque-Country;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other

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