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Crossing Industry Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters


  • Markus Kelle


German manufacturing firms increasingly engage in service trade activities. Micro-level data show that producer service exports of German manufacturers amounted to EUR 30 billion in 2005. In particular, construction, engineering and R&D services are exported. The machinery industries and automobile and chemicals producers dominate the overall pattern. The types of services exported vary strongly across industries. Furthermore, export activities are concentrated on a few large exporters. Service exports of advertising, data processing and R&D services are found to likely support foreign affiliates of firms. However, these headquarter services are only infrequently observable. Much more important are construction and engineering services exported by machinery firms. These might represent installation and maintenance services exported to complement the supply of machinery. Beyond the support of foreign production affiliates of firms, R&D services exports generally represent the transfer of knowledge and technology. These might be relevant also in R&D cooperations of firms or when firms have partnerships with foreign suppliers or buyers of intermediate products.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Kelle, 2012. "Crossing Industry Borders: German Manufacturers as Services Exporters," wiiw Working Papers 92, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  • Handle: RePEc:wii:wpaper:92

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Markus Kelle & Jörn Kleinert & Horst Raff & Farid Toubal, 2013. "Cross-border and Foreign Affiliate Sales of Services: Evidence from German Microdata," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(11), pages 1373-1392, November.
    2. Vandermerwe, Sandra & Rada, Juan, 1988. "Servitization of business: Adding value by adding services," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 314-324, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Sébastien Miroudot & Alexandros Ragoussis, 2009. "Vertical Trade, Trade Costs and FDI," OECD Trade Policy Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
    5. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity in Germany," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 53(4), pages 353-373.
    6. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2010. "Services Trade and Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 642-692, September.
    7. Frank Stille, 2003. "Produktbegleitende Dienstleistungen gewinnen weiter an Bedeutung," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(21), pages 335-342.
    8. Bernard Hoekman, 2008. "The General Agreement on Trade in Services: Doomed to Fail? Does it Matter?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 295-318, December.
    9. World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367.
    10. Davies, Ronald B., 2005. "Fragmentation of headquarter services and FDI," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 61-79, March.
    11. Joseph Francois & Julia Woerz, 2008. "Producer Services, Manufacturing Linkages, and Trade," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 199-229, December.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arne J. Nagengast & Robert Stehrer, 2016. "The Great Collapse in Value Added Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 392-421, May.
    2. Sebastian Leitner, 2015. "Drivers of wealth inequality in euro area countries," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 137, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    3. Roman Stöllinger, 2015. "Agglomeration and FDI: Bringing International Production Linkages into the Picture," wiiw Working Papers 121, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    4. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:3:p:499-516 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lodefalk, Magnus, 2015. "Servification of Firms and Trade Policy Implications," Working Papers 2015:1, Örebro University, School of Business, revised 17 May 2016.
    6. Johannes Pöschl & Katarina Valkova, 2015. "Welfare State Regimes and Social Determinants of Health in Europe," wiiw Working Papers 118, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    7. Bernard Hoekman & Ben Shepherd, 2017. "Services Productivity, Trade Policy and Manufacturing Exports," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 499-516, March.
    8. Patricia Walter, 2017. "Anatomy of Austria’s trade in services," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 33-52.
    9. Konstantins Benkovskis & Olegs Tkacevs, 2015. "Everything you always wanted to know about Latvia's service exporters (but were afraid to ask)," Working Papers 2015/06, Latvijas Banka.

    More about this item


    services exports; manufacturing sector; goods trade; multinational firms;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General

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