The role of the tertiarization processes on the growth of the overall productivity in the advanced economies has risen as one of the most controversial topics during the recent decades in the specialized literature. Despite the quantitative and the strategic importance of the service industries within the present economies, there has been a significant deficit of theoretical and empirical works on them since only a few decades. Talking about local, territorial and regional analyses —one of the most increasing research fields during the last years— this lack of attention is still evident. Following this motivation, the present «state of the art» should aim to help researchers and institutions in order to deep into the relationships and explaining factors between the growth of the service sector and the development of the overall productivity. In doing so, the paper reviews every theoretical and empirical works on this topic, both on conceptual and methodological issues, starting from the most conventional theses until the most updated revisions with a more positive and realistic point of view of the role of the tertiarization process on productivity.