Économie et Statistique n° 435-436 - Internationalization of French Business Firms
French Firms in International Service Trade
This article examines the characteristics of French trade in services (excluding travel, transport, and trading) at firm level. The panel data supplied by the Bank of France reveal a number of stylized facts. Service-exporting firms are approximately ten times fewer in number than goods-exporting firms and are more concentrated. The largest 5% of service exporters generate 85% of total export sales, versus 70% for the largest goods exporters. Service exporters and importers are larger and more productive, and pay higher wages than firms doing business in France alone, but also with respect to firms engaged in international trade in goods. A more detailed breakdown of these results shows differences among service exporters depending on whether their principal activity is in the industrial or service sector. Service-sector firms that export and/or import services are two to five times smaller than industrial-sector firms engaged in the same activity. In the industrial sector, service exports are generally associated with goods exports. In the service sector, firms more often export only services.