Press release - Working Paper 237

Services versus goods trade: Are they the same?

In this paper we present for the first time a qualitative and quantitative comparison between trade in services and trade in goods at firm level for the same country. We focus first on static features of trade such as participation rates, firms’ characteristics, heterogeneity, concentration and trade variation. Secondly, we explore dynamic aspects focusing on entry, exit, firm survival and growth strategy. On the one hand, our results reveal qualitative similarities between services and goods trade at firm level, suggesting that heterogeneous models of trade can be a good starting point for the analysis of trade in services. On the other hand, we highlight dramatic differences in quantitative terms and in some key characteristics that pose new challenges to current trade models.