Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 959–981 | Cite as

Business services and the export performances of manufacturing industries

  • Rinaldo EvangelistaEmail author
  • Matteo Lucchese
  • Valentina Meliciani
Regular Article


This paper investigates the contribution provided by the Business service sector (BS) to the international competitiveness of manufacturing industries that acquire and use intangible intermediate inputs (in particular, those provided by two main BS sub-sectors: “Communication and computer related services” and “Other business activities”). The main empirical focus of this paper is on the “dynamic efficiency gains” brought about by the interaction of manufacturing and BS industries and, in particular, on assessing the role of BS in supporting (in a Schumpeterian fashion) various types of non-price competitive factors, the most important being the capacity of developing and introducing new products, more effective organizational innovations and new business models. The empirical analysis is based on an original data set obtained by integrating – for a selected number of EU countries - different industry level data sources, namely the OECD Input-output Tables, the OECD Structural Analysis Database and data provided by the Community Innovation Survey. The results of the empirical analysis show that BS do exert a positive impact on the international competitiveness of manufacturing industries, even though these effects vary according to the type of intermediate intangible input acquired and type of user sector.


Business services International competitiveness Innovation Industry level data 

JEL codes

L80 O30 


  1. Abreu M, Grinevich V, Kitson M, Savona (2010) Policies to enhance the hidden innovation in services: evidences and lessons from the UK. Serv Ind J 30(1):99–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amable B, Verspagen B (1995) The role of technology in market shares dynamics. Appl Econ 27:197–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amendola G, Dosi G, Papagni E (1993) The dynamics of international competitiveness. Weltwirtschaftliches Arch 129:451–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderton B (1999) Innovation, product quality, variety, and trade performance: an empirical analysis of Germany and the UK. Oxf Econ Pap 51:152–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Antonelli C (1998) Localized technological change, new information technology and the Knowledge-Based Economy: the European evidence. J Evol Econ 8(2):177–198MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Antonelli C (1999) The Microdynamics of Technological Change. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhagwati JN (1984) Splintering and disembodiment of services and developing nations. World Econ 7:133–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baker D (2007) The impact of business-services use on client industries: Evidence from input output data. In: Rubalcaba L, Kox H (eds) Business services in European economic growth. Palgrave MacMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Bengtsson L, Dabhilkar M (2009) Manufacturing outsourcing and its effect on plant performance—lessons for KIBS outsourcing. J Evol Econ 19:231–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bogliacino F, Lucchese M, Pianta M (2013) Job creation in business services: Innovation, demand, and polarisation. Struct Chang Econ Dyn 25:95–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Camacho JA, Rodriguez M (2007a) Integration and diffusion of KIS for industry performance. In: Rubalcaba L, Kox H (eds) Business services in European economic growth. Palgrave MacMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Camacho JA, Rodriguez M (2007b) How important are knowledge-intensive services for their client industries? An assessment of their impact on productivity and innovation. In: Gallouj F, Djellal F (eds) The handbook of innovation and services. Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  13. Carlin W, Glyn A, Van Reenen J (2001) Export market performance of OECD countries: an empirical examination of the role of cost competitiveness. Econ J 111:128–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Castellacci F (2008) Technological paradigms, regimes and trajectories: manufacturing and service industries in a new taxonomy of sectoral patterns of innovation. Res Policy 37(6–7):978–994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Consoli D, Elche D (2013) The evolving knowledge base of professional service sectors. J Evol Econ 23:477–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Corrocher N, Cusmano L, Morrison A (2009) Modes of innovation in knowledge-intensive business services evidence from Lombardy. J Evol Econ 19:173–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crespi F (2007) IT services and productivity in European industries. In: Rubalcaba L, Kox H (eds) Business services in European economic growth. Palgrave MacMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Crespi F, Pianta M (2008) Diversity in innovation and productivity in Europe. J Evol Econ 18(3):529–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Desmarchelier D, Djellal F, Gallouj F (2013) Knowledge intensive business services and long term growth. Struct Chang Econ Dyn 25:188–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Doloreux D, Shearmur R (2012) Collaboration, information and the geography of innovation in knowledge intensive business services. J Econ Geogr 12:79–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Espino-Rodriguez TF, Padron-Robaina V (2006) A review of outsourcing from the resource-based view of the firm. Int J Manag Rev 8:49–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Evangelista R (2006) Innovation in the European service industries. Sci Public Policy 3(9):653–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Evangelista R, Sirilli G (1995) Measuring innovation in services. Research Evaluation 5(3):207–215Google Scholar
  24. Evangelista R, Lucchese M, Meliciani V (2013) Business services, innovation and sectoral growth. Struct Chang Econ Dyn 25:119–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. EUROSTAT (2004) Prices and purchasing power parities. Statistics in Focus 53/2004Google Scholar
  26. EUROSTAT (2011) Business services: recent economic developments. Statistics in focus, 35/2011Google Scholar
  27. Fagerberg J (1988) International competitiveness. Econ J 98:355–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fagerberg J (1997) Competitiveness, scale and R&D. In: Fagerberg J, Hansson P, Lundberg L, Melchior A (eds) Technology and International Trade. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  29. Francois J, Woerz J (2008) Producer services, manufacturing linkages, and trade. J Ind Compet Trade 8(3):199–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Freel M (2010) Knowledge-Intensive Business services users and uses: Exploring the propensity to innovation related cooperation with Knowledge-Intensive Business services. In: Doloreux D, Freel M, Shearmur R (eds) Knowledge-Intensive Business Services: Geography and Innovation. Ashgate, SurreyGoogle Scholar
  31. Gallouj F (2002) Innovation in the service economy: The new wealth of nations. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gallouj F, Savona M (2009) Innovation in services a review of the debate and perspectives for a research agenda. J Evol Econ 19(2):149–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Greenhalgh C, Gregory M (2000) Labour productivity and product quality: their growth and inter-industry transmission in the UK 1979–90. In: Barrell R, Mason G, O’Mahoney M (eds) Productivity, innovation and economic performance. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  34. Guerrieri P, Meliciani V (2005) Technology and international competitiveness: the interdependence between manufacturing and producer services. Struct Chang Econ Dyn 16(4):489–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kox H, Rubalcaba L (2007a) Analysing the contribution of business services to European economic growth. MPRA Paper n. 2003Google Scholar
  36. Kox H, Rubalcaba L (2007b) Business services and the changing structure of European economic growth. MPRA Paper n. 3570Google Scholar
  37. Landry R, Amara N, Doloreux D (2012) Knowledge exchange strategies between KIBS firms and their clients. Serv Ind J 32(2):291–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Laursen K, Meliciani V (2000) The importance of technology-based intersectoral linkages for market share dynamics. Weltwirtschaftliches Arch 136:702–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Laursen K, Meliciani V (2002) The relative importance of international vis-a-vis national technological spillovers for market share dynamics. Ind Corp Chang 11:875–894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Laursen K, Meliciani V (2010) The role of ICT knowledge flows for international market share dynamics. Res Policy 39:687–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lyons B (1995) Specific investment, economies of scale, and the make-or-buy decision: a test of transaction cost theory. J Econ Behav Organ 26:431–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Maggi B, Muro D (2013) A multi-country non-linear dynamical model for the study of European growth based on technology and business services. Struct Chang Econ Dyn 25:173–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Magnier A, Toujas-Bernate J (1994) Technology and trade: empirical evidence for the major five industrialized countries. Weltwirtschaftliches Arch 130:494–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mariotti S, Nicolini M, Piscitello L (2013) Vertical linkages between foreign MNEs in service sectors and local manufacturing firms. Struct Chang Econ Dyn 25:133–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Martinez-Fernandez C (2010) Knowledge-intensive service activities in the success of the Australian mining Industry. Serv Ind J 30:55–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Massini S, Miozzo M (2010) Outsourcing and Offshoring of Knowledge-intensive Business Services: Implication for Innovation. In: Gallouj F, Djellal F (eds) Handbook of innovation and services. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  47. Mas-Verdu F, Wensley A, Alba M, Alvaraez-Coque J (2011) How much does KIBS contribute to the generation and diffusion of innovation? Serv Bus 5:195–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Miles I (2005) Innovation in services. In: Fagerberg J, Mowery D, Nelson R (eds) The Oxford handbook of innovation. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  49. Miles I (2012) KIBS and knowledge dynamics in client–supplier interactions. In: Di Maria E, Grandinetti R, Di Bernardo B (eds) Exploring knowledge intensive business services. Palgrave MacMillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  50. Montobbio F (2003) Sectoral patterns of technological activity and export market share dynamics. Camb J Econ 27:523–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mustilli F, Pelkmans J (2012) Securing EU growth from services. CEPS Special Reports Working Document 371Google Scholar
  52. Muller E, Doloreux D (2009) What we should know about knowledge-intensive business services. Technol Soc 31(1):64–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Papaconstantinou G, Sakurai N, Ioannidis E (1998) Domestic and international product-embodied R&D diffusion. Res Policy 27(3):301–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pavitt K (1984) Sectoral patterns of technical change: towards a taxonomy and a theory. Res Policy 13(6):343–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pianta M, Lucchese M, Nascia L, Supino S (2011) The sectoral innovation database. Methodological notes, University of Urbino, Faculty of Economics, Discussion PaperGoogle Scholar
  56. Rubalcaba L, Kox H (eds) (2007) Business services in European economic growth. Palgrave MacMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  57. Shearmur R, Doloreux D (2013) Innovation and knowledge-intensive business service: the contribution of knowledge-intensive business service to innovation in manufacturing establishments. Econ Innov New Tech 22:751–774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Soete L (1981) A general test of the technological gap trade theory. Weltwirtschaftliches Arch 117:638–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tether BS (2005) Do services innovate (differently)? Insights from the European Innobarometer Survey. Ind Innov 12(2):153–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tether BS, Tajar A (2008) The organisational-cooperation mode of innovation and its prominence amongst European service firms. Res Policy 37(4):720–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tomlinson M (2000) Information and technology flows from the service sector: A UK-Japan comparison. In: Boden M, Miles I (eds) Services and the knowledge-based economy. Continuum, LondonGoogle Scholar
  62. Verspagen B, Wakelin K (1997) Trade and technology from a Schumpeterian perspective. Int Rev Appl Econ 11:181–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Walker G, Weber D (1984) A transaction cost approach to make or buy decisions. Adm Sci Q 29:373–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Walker G, Weber D (1987) Supplier competition, uncertainty and make-or-buy decision. Acad Manag J 30:589–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Windrum P, Tomlinson M (1999) Knowledge-Intensive Services and international competitiveness: a four country comparison. Tech Anal Strat Manag 11(3):391–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Windrum P, Reinstaller A, Bull C (2009) The outsourcing productivity paradox: total outsourcing, organisational innovation, and long run productivity growth. J Evol Econ 19:197–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wolfmayr Y (2008) Producer services and competitiveness of manufacturing exports. FIW Research Reports series I-009, FIWGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rinaldo Evangelista
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matteo Lucchese
    • 2
  • Valentina Meliciani
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Camerino (IT)CamerinoItaly
  2. 2.Istat (Italian Statistical Office) and University of Urbino (IT)UrbinoItaly
  3. 3.University of Teramo (IT)TeramoItaly

Personalised recommendations