Service industries dominate modern economies, especially when measured by number of jobs. Yet service activities tend to be underrepresented in US economic research. For good quality research on service industries, it is helpful to look abroad to the European Association for Research on Services (RESER).

RESER is a network of research groups and individuals active in services research and policy formulation. The annual conference is a forum for presentation and discussion of inter-disciplinary, innovative studies in service research, attended by scholars and practitioners in services management, marketing , engineering, economics, sociology and geography. 

The 2019 conference, held last week in Ceuta, Spain, considered “Services and the Future of the Workforce.” The program addressed ways ongoing economic transformation and technology advancements will affect work and income around the world. Conference themes included:

  • New services – new jobs
  • Services workforce and robotization
  • Services activities and economic development
  • Geographical aspects of services
  • Internationalization of services and services in emerging markets

Speakers presented their research addressing services and creative industries, innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and international trade and investment as well as the role of services systems within the manufacturing, construction, tourism, healthcare, finance, and food services/retail sectors. Ellen Harpel presented a paper on Gig and Independent Work in US Metropolitan Economies and Service Industries. 

Next year’s RESER conference will be held in June in Madrid. The papers for this year’s conference should be posted soon for those seeking more information on these topics.