This paper empirically investigates the key firm- and industry-specific restrictions to the performance of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in services trade. For this purpose, we use firm-level data from firms in France operating in different services sectors over the time period 1998–2007 and formulate two-part models consisting of (1) (dynamic) export equations and (2) (dynamic) export share equations. Our results confirm the view that a relatively low share of SMEs engages in services trade. In line with the new-new trade theory, our results also corroborate that more productive SMEs have a higher export probability. The key finding of this paper is that the export decisions of SMEs in services sectors are estimated to be extremely persistent, implying that trade policy efforts, including the allocation of scarce trade promotion budgets, should be directed at addressing the barriers faced in establishing the first export operation. Finally, our sub-sectoral estimates reveal considerable heterogeneity across different types of services.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 20, 2015
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