Does gravity matter for trade in intermediate services?

Anmol Kaur Grewal

This paper makes a twofold contribution to the literature on trade in services. First, I construct a novel bilateral dataset of trade in services differentiating between final consumption and intermediate consumption following the most recent classification of UN’s Broad Economic Categories (BEC Rev. 5). Second, I use this dataset to estimate a gravity model of trade in intermediate and final services for a sample of 48 economies for the time period 2010-2019. Using a robust model specification consistent with the recent advancements in the gravity literature, I find that trade in services exhibits a sensitivity to bilateral distance between trading partners, similar to trade in goods. Intermediate services tend to be more sensitive to distance relative to final services due to the distinct nature of these services (B2B versus B2C). Common language and common borders are important determinants of both trade in intermediate and final services. I also find evidence of non-linear effects of time zone differences on trade in services.