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The determinants of service export behaviour in Italian non-financial firms

Alessandro Moro () and Enrico Tosti ()
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Enrico Tosti: Bank of Italy

No 577, Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: This paper analyses the main drivers of Italian service exports using firm-level data. A gravity equation, augmented with firm characteristics and FDI variables, is estimated using a panel of Italian exporters constructed by merging two datasets, the first on international trade in services and the second on FDI relationships, both used to compile the Italian balance of payments. After presenting a formal justification for the presence of FDI variables in the gravity equation, the model is estimated using a panel composed of non-financial firms exporting services other than travel, transport and processing in the period from 2013 to 2018. The econometric analysis shows that FDI is, among the standard drivers of exports (firm size and productivity, foreign demand, trade costs), a significant variable that positively affects Italian firms’ exports of services, pointing to complementarity rather than to substitution. This evidence suggests that a significant component of trade in services includes intra-group transactions.

Keywords: trade in services; firm-level data; gravity model; FDI; panel data; firm heterogeneity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 C51 D22 F14 L80 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-int and nep-sbm
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