Exporters and Importers of Services: Firm-Level Evidence on Italy

51 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2012

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 21, 2012

Abstract

This work contributes to the small but growing body of literature on international trade in services at firm level. Our dataset, based on a new Bank of Italy survey, provides information on exports and imports of services (excluding transportation and travel) in 2008-09 for almost 3,000 Italian industrial and services firms, divided by partner country and type of service. We report a set of stylized facts on trade in services. We also analyze the choice between export and foreign direct investment in services at the firm level, thus innovating with respect to the previous literature using industry data. The main findings are as follows: the export and import of services is highly concentrated in just a few firms; firm-level variation in trade is positively correlated with firm size and productivity; country-level variation is to a large extent explained by the standard gravity variables; distance strongly reduces trade in services in spite of their intangibility; smaller and less productive firms choose to export rather than sell through foreign affiliates.

Keywords: trade in services, firm heterogeneity, intensive and extensive margin, foreign affliates, export versus FDI

JEL Classification: F14, F23, L80

Suggested Citation

Federico, Stefano and Tosti, Enrico, Exporters and Importers of Services: Firm-Level Evidence on Italy (September 21, 2012). Bank of Italy Temi di Discussione (Working Paper) No. 877, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2165830 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2165830

Stefano Federico (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Enrico Tosti

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

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