Nations, Industries and Households
- The Cournot Centre series
Edited by Robert M. Solow and Jean-Philippe Touffut
Chapter 4: Exports of Knowledge-intensive Services and Manufactures: The Role of ICTs and Intersectoral Linkages
4. Exports of knowledge-intensive services and manufactures: the role of ICTs and intersectoral linkages 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...
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