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CEP discussion paper

From Selling Goods to Selling Services: Firm Responses to Trade Liberalization


In the face of trade liberalization domestic firms are often forced out of the market, whereas others adapt and survive. In this paper we focus on a new channel of adaptation, namely the shift toward increased provision of services in lieu of goods production. We exploit variation in EU trade policy to show that lower manufacturing tariffs cause firms to shift into services provision and out of goods production. Additionally, we find that a successful transition is strongly associated with higher firm-level R&D stocks whereas higher physical capital stocks slow the shift into services provision.


Holger Breinlich, Anson Soderbery and Greg C. Wright

26 September 2014     Paper Number CEPDP1303

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Trade programme.