This study contains a literature review about the services sector, with an emphasis onthe following themes: productivity and employment, innovation and internationaltrade. The services sector has historically been marginalized in the economics literature.Its activities had already been considered ?non productive?, and the sector still is definedas a residual, or, in other words, as everything that does not belong to agriculturalor manufacturing.However, the growth of the share of the services in the employment and valueadded, and also the emergence of the information and communications technology asa vector of innovation in other sectors of the economy, contributed for the increasingimportance of the understanding of the specificities of the service activities. Theimportance of the services sector for the employment, and the presence of firms thatare dynamic and that produce inputs for the manufacturing companies, justify therelevance of developing studies that can contribute for the formulation of publicpolicies for the sector.
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