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Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?

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  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • J. Bradford Jensen

Abstract

A growing body of empirical work has documented the superior performance characteristics" of exporting plants and firms relative to non-exporters. Employment, shipments and capital intensity are all higher at exporters at any given moment. This paper asks whether good" firms become exporters or whether exporting improves firm performance. The evidence is quite" clear on one point: good firms become exporters, both growth rates and levels of success measures" are higher ex-ante for exporters. The benefits of exporting for the firm are less clear. Employment" growth and the probability of survival are both higher for exporters; however growth is not superior, particularly over longer horizons.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6272.

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Date of creation: Nov 1997
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Publication status: published as Journal of International Economics, Vol. 47, no. 1 (February 1999): 1-25.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6272

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  1. Aw, B. -Y. & Hwang, A. R., 1995. "Productivity and the export market: A firm-level analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 313-332, August.
  2. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
  4. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  5. Bernard, A.B. & Jensen, J.B., 1994. "Exporters, Skill Upgrading, and the Wage Gap," Working papers 94-30, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
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