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Knowledge-intensive services and international competitiveness: a four country comparison


  • Windrum, Paul
  • Tomlinson, Mark



The nature and consequences of services innovation remains a woefully under-researchedtopic. The paper calls into question two statements that are frequentlyrepeated in the political-economic discourse on services. The first concerns thesuggestion that Germany is a ‘services laggard’ that needs to restructure its domesticeconomy if it is to remain internationally competitive. By contrast, the UK is frequentlyheld up as an example of a successfully restructured ‘services economy’. The paperdraws an important distinction between the quantity of services in a domestic economyand the degree of connectivity between services and other economic activities. Thelatter, it is argued, is far more important in determining the size of spillovers fromservices innovation enjoyed within a domestic economy and, hence, to internationalcompetitiveness. Particular attention is paid to the role and impact of knowledge-intensiveservice sectors in this regard. In addition to the UK and Germany, data isdrawn from the Netherlands and Japan. Using these four comparative cases we explorethe distinction between a high representation of services in the domestic economy, andthe innovation spillovers facilitated by a high degree of connectivity between servicesand other economic sectors within a domestic economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Windrum, Paul & Tomlinson, Mark, 1999. "Knowledge-intensive services and international competitiveness: a four country comparison," Research Memorandum 023, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamer:1999023

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harcourt, G C, 1971. "Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital: Reply," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 69-70, March.
    2. Victor R. Fuchs, 1968. "The Service Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch68-1.
    3. Harry Scarbrough, 1997. "Making the Matrix Matter: Strategic Information Systems in Financial Services," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 171-190, March.
    4. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1971. "A Note on "Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital."," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 68-69, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. José A. Camacho & Mercedes Rodriguez, 2010. "How Important are Knowledge-Intensive Services for their Client Industries? An Assessment of their Impact on Productivity and Innovation," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Innovation and Services, chapter 18 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Sanchez-Peinado, Esther & Pla-Barber, Jose, 2006. "A multidimensional concept of uncertainty and its influence on the entry mode choice: An empirical analysis in the service sector," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 215-232, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Andrea Szalavetz, 2003. "'Tertiarization' of manufacturing industry in the new economy - experiences in Hungarian companies," IWE Working Papers 134, Institute for World Economics - Centre for Economic and Regional Studies- Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    5. Amable, Bruno & Ledezma, Ivan & Robin, Stéphane, 2016. "Product market regulation, innovation, and productivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 2087-2104.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:7:p:2566-:d:159358 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Matthias Figo & Peter Mayerhofer, 2015. "Strukturwandel und regionales Wachstum - wissensintensive Unternehmensdienste als Wachstumsmotor?," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 145, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    8. Rinaldo Evangelista & Matteo Lucchese & Valentina Meliciani, 2015. "Business services and the export performances of manufacturing industries," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(5), pages 959-981, November.
    9. Evangelista, Rinaldo & Lucchese, Matteo & Meliciani, Valentina, 2013. "Business services, innovation and sectoral growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 119-132.
    10. repec:wfo:wstudy:58503 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Gupta, Suraksha & Malhotra, Naresh K. & Czinkota, Michael & Foroudi, Pantea, 2016. "Marketing innovation: A consequence of competitiveness," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 5671-5681.
    12. Rafael Boix, 2012. "Facing globalization and increased trade: Catalonia's evolution from industrial region to knowledge and creative economy," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 97-112, March.
    13. Xing Shi & Yanrui Wu & Dingtao Zhao, 2014. "Knowledge intensive business services and their impact on innovation in China," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 8(4), pages 479-498, December.
    14. repec:spr:manint:v:52:y:2012:i:3:d:10.1007_s11575-011-0097-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Berranger, Pascale de, 2002. "The adoption of e-business technology by SMEs," Research Memorandum 033, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    16. Rinaldo Evangelista & Matteo Lucchese & Valentina Meliciani, 2013. "The contribution of Business services to the export performances of manufacturing industries. An empirical study on 5 European countries," Working Papers 14, Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, revised Nov 2013.
    17. Wu, Chiu-Hui & Ding, Cherng G. & Jane, Ten-Der & Lin, Hang-Rung & Wu, Cheng-Ying, 2015. "Lessons from the global financial crisis for the semiconductor industry," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 47-53.
    18. repec:wfo:wstudy:34225 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Sonia MUKHERJEE, 2015. "The role of Services in Enhancing Indian Manufacturing Exports: A Firm Level Analysis, 2000-01 to 2011-12," Journal of Economics Library, KSP Journals, vol. 2(4), pages 334-349, December.
    20. Paolo Guerrieri & Bernardo Maggi & Valentina Meliciani & Pier Carlo Padoan, 2005. "Technology Diffusion, Services, and Endogenous Growth in Europe. Is the Lisbon Strategy Still Alive?," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 2, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    21. Leydesdorff, Loet & Dolfsma, Wilfred & Van der Panne, Gerben, 2006. "Measuring the knowledge base of an economy in terms of triple-helix relations among 'technology, organization, and territory'," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 181-199, March.
    22. Valentina Meliciani, 2010. "Exports of Knowledge-intensive Services and Manufactures: The Role of ICTs and Intersectoral Linkages," Chapters,in: The Shape of the Division of Labour, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    23. Małgorzata Zięba, 2015. "Knowledge-intensive services sector and its dynamics and structure of employment in European Union countries," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 40.
    24. Daria Ciriaci & Sandro Montresor & Daniela Palma, 2013. "Do KIBS make manufacturing more innovative? An empirical investigation for four European countries," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2013-04, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

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