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Second Thoughts on Exporter Productivity

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  • Philipp J.H. Schröeder

    (Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

  • Allan Sørensen

    ()
    (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

Abstract

Empirical literature has established a positive link between firm productivity and export status, yet notable exceptions exist. The present paper shows that the underlying theory (Melitz, 2003) is in fact able to accommodate the rule as well as the exception. The fulcrum of the argument is the tension between empirical work measuring productivity based on average cost information, and theoretical work representing productivity by marginal cost. In a heterogeneous firms trade model, we compute productivity based on average cost and find that around the export-indifferent firm, exporters will be less productive than non-exporters. Furthermore, we show that this effect may feed through at the industry level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2009-03.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 09 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2009-03

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Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

Related research

Keywords: Intra-industry trade; firm productivity; monopolistic competition; heterogeneous firms;

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References

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  1. Bernard, A. & Wagner, J., 1996. "Exports and Success in German Manufacturing," Working papers 96-10, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Sébastien Jean, 2000. "International Trade and Firms’ Heterogeneity Under Monopolistic Competition," Working Papers 2000-13, CEPII research center.
  3. Jin-Tan Liu & Meng-Wen Tsou & James Hammitt, 1999. "Export activity and productivity: Evidence from the Taiwan electronics industry," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 135(4), pages 675-691, December.
  4. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Trade costs, firms and productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 917-937, July.
  5. Jørgensen, Jan G. & Schröder, Philipp J.H., 2008. "Fixed export cost heterogeneity, trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1256-1274, October.
  6. Girma, Sourafel & Gorg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2004. "Exports, international investment, and plant performance: evidence from a non-parametric test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 317-324, June.
  7. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence fro Firm Level Data," International Trade 0504005, EconWPA.
  8. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Sourafel Girma & Richard Kneller & Mauro Pisu, 2005. "Exports versus FDI: An Empirical Test," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 193-218, July.
  10. Montagna, Catia, 2001. "Efficiency Gaps, Love of Variety and International Trade," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 27-44, February.
  11. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  12. Hansson, Pär & Lundin, Nan Nan, 2003. "Exports as an Indicator on or Promoter of Successful Swedish Manufacturing Firms in the 1990s," Working Paper Series 189, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  13. Richard Baldwin, 2005. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade: Testable and Untestable Properties of the Melitz Model," NBER Working Papers 11471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, 05.
  15. Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: First evidence from a matching approach," HWWA Discussion Papers 155, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  16. David Greenaway & Joakim Gullstrand & Richard Kneller, 2005. "Exporting May Not Always Boost Firm Productivity," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(4), pages 561-582, December.
  17. Davide Castellani & Antonello Zanfei, 2007. "Internationalisation, Innovation and Productivity: How Do Firms Differ in Italy?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 156-176, 01.
  18. Schmitt, Nicolas & Yu, Zhihao, 2001. "Economies of scale and the volume of intra-industry trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 127-132, December.
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