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Trade and innovation in services : evidence from a developing economy

  • Iacovone, Leonardo
  • Mattoo, Aaditya
  • Zahler, Andres

Studies on innovation and international trade have traditionally focused on manufacturing because neither was seen as important for services. Moreover, the few existing studies on services focus only on industrial countries, although in many developing countries services are already the largest sector in the economy and an important determinant of overall productivity growth. Using a recent firm-level innovation survey for Chile to compare the manufacturing and"tradable"services sector, this paper reveals some novel patterns. First, although services firms have on average a much lower propensity to export than manufacturing firms, services exports are less dominated by large firms and tend to be more skill intensive than manufacturing exports. Second, services firms appear to be as innovative as -- and in some cases more innovative than -- manufacturing firms, in terms of both inputs and outputs of"technological"innovative activity, although services innovations more often take a"non-technological"form. Third, services exporters (like manufacturing exporters) tend to be significantly more innovative than non-exporters, with a wider gap for innovations close to the global technological frontier. These findings suggest that the growing faith in services as a source of both trade and innovative dynamism may not be misplaced.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6520.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6520
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  1. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2010. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 99, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2010.
  2. Alexander Eickelpasch & Alexander Vogel, 2009. "Determinants of Export Behaviour of German Business Services Companies," Working Paper Series in Economics 123, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  3. Ebling, Günther & Janz, Norbert, 1999. "Export and innovation activities in the German service sector: empirical evidence at the firm level," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-53, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 3196327, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  7. 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.
  8. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2118, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  12. Cesaltina Pacheco Pires & Soumodip Sarkar & Luísa Carvalho, 2008. "Innovation in services -- how different from manufacturing?," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(10), pages 1339-1356, December.
  13. J. Bradford Jensen & Lori G. Kletzer, 2005. "Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Outsourcing," Working Paper Series WP05-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  14. Drejer, Ina, 2004. "Identifying innovation in surveys of services: a Schumpeterian perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 551-562, April.
  15. Gallouj, Faiz & Weinstein, Olivier, 1997. "Innovation in services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 537-556, December.
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  17. Homi Kharas & Harinder Kohli, 2011. "What Is the Middle Income Trap, Why do Countries Fall into It, and How Can It Be Avoided?," Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, Emerging Markets Forum, vol. 3(3), pages 281-289, September.
  18. Johan Hauknes, . "Services in Innovation – Innovation in Services," STEP Report series 199813, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
  19. Sirilli, Giorgio & Evangelista, Rinaldo, 1998. "Technological innovation in services and manufacturing: results from Italian surveys," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 881-899, December.
  20. Homi Kharas & Harinder Kohli, 2011. "What Is the Middle Income Trap, Why do Countries Fall into It, and How Can It Be Avoided?," Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, Emerging Markets Forum, vol. 3(3), pages 281-289, September.
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