The role of Services in Enhancing Indian Manufacturing Exports: A Firm Level Analysis, 2000-01 to 2011-12



Abstract. In this paper, we try to examine and assess the contribution of services towards India’s manufacturing exports at the firm level. In other words, the role of services in shaping the international competiveness of the Indian Manufacturing Sector at the firm level is examined. Services are instrumental in connecting to the world market and can help firms to differentiate their products. However, only bits and pieces of the relation between services and exports have been analyzed in the earlier literature. Most of the earlier studies relating to services have explored the link between services and Total Factor Productivity. The relation between services and exports has not been explored at the firm level in case of India. This also gives a justification for conducting the present study. With now firm level databases available, it allows us to explore this part in details. For exploring this link, the firm level data was collected from the Centre for Monitoring of The Indian Economy (Prowess Database) for the years 2000-01 to 2011-12. The Manufacturing firms had used different types of services according to their needs and the expenditure for the all the different services were not the same. The expenses incurred by the manufacturing firms for services like business services, repairs and maintenance, Professional services, Research & Development and others etc. were added together to get total expenses on the services variable. Two alternative econometric methods (Panel Regression method and Tobit model) were used in our study. The findings confirm that services have contributed to enhanced export competitiveness of the Indian manufacturing firms. The paper looks at the firm specific factors like firm size, age, previous years export performance, group versus non-group, labor productivity and services that affected the export performance of the Indian manufacturing firms. The overall results show that the firm specific factors such as firm size, extent of use of services, group versus non-group firms, and previous years export performance played a positive role in improving the Indian manufacturing exports.

Keywords. Services, Exports, Manufacturing, Firms.

JEL. L60, L64, L69.

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