The Shape of the Division of Labour

The Shape of the Division of Labour

Nations, Industries and Households

The Cournot Centre series

Edited by Robert M. Solow and Jean-Philippe Touffut

How is work divided up in the household, within an industry, a nation or between continents? What are the dynamics of the division of labour? The wide-ranging contributions to this book explore these questions from technological, capital and political perspectives. They include in-depth studies of gender, the firm, countries’ economic specializations, ICTs, foreign direct investment and agriculture. In this book, ten distinguished contributors – economists, scholars and practitioners – take stock of the shape of the division of labour and provide useful policy recommendations.

Chapter 4: Exports of Knowledge-intensive Services and Manufactures: The Role of ICTs and Intersectoral Linkages

Valentina Meliciani

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics


Valentina Meliciani INTRODUCTION The last 20 years have seen deep transformations in the factors affecting countries’ international competitiveness. The information and communication technology (ICT) revolution has transformed modes of production and internationalization in both the manufacturing and service sectors. ICT has affected the linkages between manufacturing and service industries by increasing the service content of many manufacturing activities and by facilitating the ‘splintering’ away of activities once performed inside manufacturing firms. Consequently, the production and export of manufactures and services have become increasingly interrelated, and this is particularly true in knowledge-intensive sectors. Joseph Francis Francois (1990) has highlighted the role of producer services in the linkage, coordination and control of specialized interrelated operations, thus associating their growth with expanded opportunities for trade. Recent studies have also shown that knowledge-intensive services are in high demand as intermediate inputs by high-technology manufacturing industries (Guerrieri and Meliciani, 2005; Francois and Woerz, 2008). These strong linkages may affect international competitiveness in both manufacturing and service industries. A flourishing literature has shown the role of business services for economic growth and technology diffusion (see among others, Kox and Rubalcaba, 2007), while only a few studies have investigated their impact on international competitiveness in manufacturing industries (Francois and Woerz, 2008; Wolfmayr, 2008) and in service industries (Guerrieri and Meliciani, 2005). If services and manufactures are not substitutes but complements, specialization in knowledge-intensive services can have a positive impact on international competitiveness in knowledge-intensive manufacturing industries. At the same time, intersectoral linkages between manufacturing 75 M2417 -...

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