The firms' international fragmentation of production has recently widened its focus from outsourcing of intermediates to off-shoring of business services such as software program development and international call centre networks. Although a large number of business services are intangible and non-storable, gravity model estimates show that geographical distance between business partners is still relevant even when information and communication technologies (ICT) provide alternatives for face-to-face interaction. It has recently been argued that time zones can be a driving force of international service transactions by allowing for continuously operating over a 24 hours business day. In this paper, we find empirical evidence for the continuity effect in trade of business and commercial services which is even higher for trade with Non-OECD countries and robust to measurement and sample size. We show that the time zone effect in trading business services is dependent on the level of ICT infrastructure.
international trade business services gravity model distance time zones digital divide