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Entry, Expansion, and Intensity in the U.S. Export Boom, 1987-1992

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  • Andrew B Bernard
  • J Bradford Jensen

Abstract

U.S. exports grew at a rate of 10.3% per year from 1987-1992, far faster than the economy as a whole and faster than in any other five year period since 1960. This paper examines the sources of the export boom considering the role of entry, firm expansion and export intensity. The preponderance of the increase in exports came from increasing export intensity at existing exporters rather than from new entry into exporting. The small role of entry relative to export intensity offers support for the importance of sunk costs in the export market. In addition, we consider competing explanations for the rise in exports using a comprehensive plant level data set. Changes in exchange rates and rises in foreign income were the dominant sources for the export increase, while productivity increases in U.S. plants played a relatively small role.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2001/CES-WP-01-09.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 01-09.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:01-09

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Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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  1. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. 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.
  3. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-54, November.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  5. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
  7. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
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