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Determinants of firm-level export performance: a case study of Indian textile garments and apparel industry

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  • T. A. Bhavani
  • Suresh Tendulkar
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    Abstract

    Drawing on international trade and industrial organisation theories, this paper identifies variables affecting (a) the export decision function, i.e. to export or sell in domestic market, and (b) the export performance function, i.e. the share of exports in output. These functions are estimated for Garment and Apparel producing units in Delhi. The form of business organisation, reflecting access to capital, turns out to be a key determinant in both functions. The estimated marginal impact of identified variables (scale and share of sales expenses) on the probability of exporting in an estimated Probit model declines sharply when moving from single proprietorship to partnership and on to limited companies. On the other hand, every single determinant (scale, share of wages, share of sales expenses and technical efficiency) has been found to have an increasing marginal impact on export performance in an estimated Tobit model when moving across the three forms of business organisation. Empirical results suggest two policy changes to boost export performance. First, given the importance of scale for exports, the existing policy of reserving garments and apparel for exclusive production in small-scale units needs to be scrapped. Simultaneously, it is also necessary to amend current labour legislation applicable to large-scale factory units, as it introduces labour market inflexibility and hence serves as an impediment to the expansion of existing units and the entry of new units.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09638190122431
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 65-92

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:10:y:2001:i:1:p:65-92

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    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJTE20

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    Related research

    Keywords: Small Scale Industries; Technical Efficiency; Competitive Advantage; Export Decision And Performance Functions;

    References

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    1. Jones, Ronald W. & Peter Neary, J., 1984. "The positive theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 1-62 Elsevier.
    2. Yeats, Alexander J., 1990. "What do alternative measures of comparative advantage reveal about the composition of developing countries'exports?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 470, The World Bank.
    3. Carr, Jack L & Mathewson, G Frank, 1988. "Unlimited Liability as a Barrier to Entry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 766-84, August.
    4. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1988. "Export-Promoting Trade Strategy: Issues and Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 3(1), pages 27-57, January.
    5. Egan, Mary Lou & Mody, Ashoka, 1992. "Buyer-seller links in export development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 321-334, March.
    6. Paul Krugman, 1986. "Industrial Organization and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 1957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Forsund, Finn R. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1980. "A survey of frontier production functions and of their relationship to efficiency measurement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 5-25, May.
    8. Suresh D. Tendulkar & T. A. Bhavani, 1997. "Policy on Modern Small Scale Industries: A Case of Government Failure," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 39-64, January.
    9. Fried, Harold O. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Shelton S. (ed.), 1993. "The Measurement of Productive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072181.
    10. Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel & Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "A Survey of Functional Forms in the Economic Analysis of Production," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 1, chapter 4 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
    11. Kravis, Irving B, 1970. "Trade as a Handmaiden of Growth: Similarities between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(323), pages 850-72, December.
    12. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
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