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Service Sector Performance and its contributions to the Europe 2020 strategy: Results and policy implications arising from the SERVICEGAP and INDICSER projects

This workshop was held at CEPS, Brussels, on 29 and 30 January 2013

Descriptions of the presentations, with links to the slides, can be found below.  The full programme can be downloaded here

Session I - Research Summaries and Policy Implications

‘Determinants and Impacts of Innovation: Difference between Services and Manufacturing Firms’, Irene Bertschek (ZEW)

This summarises the project research on innovation strategies by firms, including outsourcing of ICT and presents differences between manufacturing and services firms. It highlights the implications for the Europe 2020 strategy on smart and inclusive growth, especially as regards innovation policy.

Internationalisation of Services and Enterprise Performance: Key Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications for Europe 2020, Iulia Siedschlag (ESRI)

This paper summarises the project’s key findings on the effects of internationalisation of services on enterprise productivity and employment. Further, it highlights similarities and differences with manufacturing. Finally, it discusses policy implications in the context of the EU’s Strategy for Smart, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth

Session IIa - Research Papers on Innovation and links between manufacturing and services

‘The Influence of Technological and Non-Technological Innovation on Employment Growth in European Service Firms’ Bettina Peters (ZEW), Rebecca Riley (NIESR) and Iulia Siedschlag (ESRI)

This paper investigates the employment impacts of innovation, distinguishing product and process innovations and organisational changes. The results demonstrate that product innovation is conducive to employment growth in European service firms suggesting a role for policy in creating an innovation-friendly environment for service firms as well as for manufacturing.

‘Linkages between services and manufacturing in EU countries’ Martin Falk (WIFO).

This research focuses on both the use of services as inputs in manufacturing and the services content of manufacturing output. It highlights the fact that the distinction between manufacturing and services has become more blurred over time and the implications of this for services sector policy frameworks such as the single market.

Session IIb - Research papers on International trade and International investment in Services

‘A portrait of trading firms in the services sectors: Comparable evidence from four EU countries’, Stefanie Haller (ESRI)

This paper sets outs some stylised facts on service sector firms engaged in trade - both exporting and importing. It documents in detail the characteristics of the firms that trade, how important foreign markets are for these firms and what service sector firms trade. The paper further compares the patterns of trade by service sector firms to those of manufacturing firms. Finally, it discusses implications for trade policy.

‘Offshoring, domestic outsourcing and productivity: evidence for a number of European countries’, Tillman Schwörer (IfW)

This study provides novel empirical evidence on offshoring patterns in Europe comparing services and manufacturing. It draws out implications for long run productivity gains which have the potential to raise employment through enhancing global competitiveness.

Session IIIa - Research Output

‘The research output of European Universities, 1996-2010’, Jose Manuel Pastor, Lorenzo Serrano and Irene Zaera (IVIE)

This paper examines the scientific output of universities in the EU, using both quantity measures and adjusting for the quality of output based on citations, and how this has changed through time. This shows significant diversity across countries but with some convergence through time.

‘Outsourcing and offshoring R&D in the pharmaceutical industry: Implications for firms and countries’, Paulina Ramirez, University of Birmingham

Using case study interviews this research highlights the recent offshoring of R&D labs from European countries to emerging countries such as India and draws implications for policies related to scientific research

Session IIIb - Regulation of Services

‘Providing Service Across Borders: Tracing, understanding and measuring market access barriers’ Jacques Pelkmans and Federica Mustilli The aim of the paper is to provide a detailed overview of the barriers to services market access, their restrictiveness, economic meaning and progress through time. It draws out the need to distinguish the GATS environment from the intra-EU services regime.

‘Professional and Business Services in the EU: Linkages and Regulation’. Iain Paterson and Richard Sellner (IHS)

This research produces new measures of linkages between business services and other sectors and regulation of professional services. It suggests some modest decrease in anti-competitive regulation in professional services, mainly with respect to market conduct behaviour: more openness to new forms of businesses, price setting, fees and advertising.

Session IV - Overview of Research Results

‘Productivity and its Drivers in Service Industries’, Mary O’Mahony (University of Birmingham)

This presents an overview of the research results from both INDICSER and SERVICEGAP focusing especially on the varying use of intangible investments in services relative to manufacturing. It highlights areas of relevance of the research to the Europe 2020 strategy, in particular relating to education and training and their impact on smart growth.

‘The INDICSER database: Overview of variables, country and time coverage and compatibility with EU KLEMS’. Mary O’Mahony (University of Birmingham)

This will go through the data series on innovation, intangible investments, market environment and regulation at industry level generated by the INDICSER project and the series for particular sectors, financial services, education and health.


SERVICEGAP Kick-off meeting

June 2010

The kick-off meeting was originally planned for April 2010, but had to be postponed due to the worldwide travel problems caused by volcanic ash.  The rescheduled meeting was held in June 2010 at Birmingham University and was a great success, with many productive discussions on the work to be done on the various workpackages. 




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Service Sector Performance and its contributions to the Europe 2020 strategy: Results and policy implications arising from the SERVICEGAP and INDICSER projects

This end-of-project dissemination workshop was held at CEPS, in Brussels on 29 and 30 January 2013.


 End of project consortium meeting

ZEW hosted a meeting of all project partners in Mannheim on 5 and 6 November 2012, where the ouputs of the research work were presented and discussed in preparation for wider dissemination.

Mid-term meeting, June 2011

SERVICEGAP's mid-term meeting was held in Dublin in June 2011.


Workshop on Financial Markets and Financial Stress: Impact on Services


This was a joint INDICSER-SERVICEGAP event, held at CEPS on March 8th 2011. 


Recent research suggests that much of the gap in EU-US productivity growth was due to developments in services sectors. The EC seventh framework programme has funded two projects INDICSER and SERVICEGAP, that focus on aspects of service sector performance. This workshop considered specifically financial markets and impacts of financial crises on performance at the sector level, with presentations from representative of the University of Birmingham, University of Groningen, and NIESR.

Project workshops

Project workshops were held on the following dates:

WP3:Market Environment, 3 November 2010 at NIESR, London.  Participants from Birmingham and NIESR

WP4:Financial Services, 15-16 November 2010 at IVIE, Valencia.  Participants from IVIE and Groningen

Meeting on WP5 (Health Services), Valencia, June 2010


An INDICSER meeting on  WP5 (Health Services) was held on 24-25 June, hosted by IVIE. In attendance were representatives from BHAM, NIESR, CEPS, Tarki as well as IVIE . Paul Schreyer from OECD, the author of an influential report on measuring the volume output of education and health services, also participated as a guest. The discussion covered both methodology and data sources and planning so that INDICSER can meet its deliverables deadlines.  


The discussion led to a number of conclusions. International data sources are unlikely to be very useful in constructing output measures for health services since they lacked the required information on activities and unit costs.  The participants agreed to concentrate largely on gathering data on activities, unit costs and in hospital mortality rates at a detailed level for a few countries, namely the UK, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. This will be supplemented by data on gender and age and waiting times, which are potentially useful for explaining variations in output but should not appear directly in the index. Both national and international data will be gathered on inputs. The team will also undertake reviews of data availability on outcomes but concentrating on those for a few major diseases such as cancer and heart conditions.  


The meeting coincided with a public seminar  entitled "New Developments in Health Metrics" , held at the University of Valencia on 25 June 2010, at which participants from BHAM, NIESR and IVIE presented previous research.    A short summary of the seminar, and a copy of the programme, is available on the BBVA Foundation-Ivie Seminar webpage.

Meeting on WP2 (Innovations and Intangible Measures), Mannheim, June 2010.

ZEW and CEPS met to discuss Innovation and Intangible Measures (WP2).  This agreed that the first deliverable from WP2 will include a review of available indicators on intangibles, an in-depth review of core EU data sets for indicator construction at the sector level and a summary description of optional EU datasets and national datasets.


Kick-off meeting, June 2010


The project kick-off meeting was held at Birmingham Business School on 14 and 15 June 2010.  The meeting was a great success, with many productive discussions on the work to be done on the various workpackages.




The SERVICEGAP project ran from 2010 - 2013, and has now finished.  The majority of papers and reports from the project are now available via the menus on the left of this page.



In the past decade the performance of service industries has come to the forefront of research on Europe's comparative economic performance, especially as the benefits from the use of information and communications technology (ICT) have been concentrated in these industries. The SERVICEGAP project will consider the academic and policy concerns that arise from the increasing importance of the market service sector. It will consider developments in productivity and its drivers within market services, linkages between services and manufacturing industries, innovation in delivery and the increasing internationalisation of services. The overall objective of this research is to produce a comprehensive study on the impact of market services on aggregate economic growth in the EU and its comparative performance relative to competitor regions, especially the US.



Prof Mary O'Mahony talks to IVIE

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