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Understanding the U.S. Export Boom

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  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • J. Bradford Jensen

Abstract

U.S. exports grew at a rate of 8.2% per year from 1987-1994, far faster than the economy as a whole or even the manufacturing sector. This paper examines the source of this export boom and argues that the boom itself has been less remarkable for the rate of growth of exports than for the striking increase in export intensity. This increase in export intensity has occurred both in the aggregate and for individual plants across a wide range of industries. Competing explanations for the rise in exports are tested with a comprehensive plant level data set. Changes in exchange rates and rises in foreign income are the dominant sources for the export increase, while productivity increases in U.S. plants play a relatively small role. The results suggest that slower growth rates of U.S. trading partners and an appreciation of the dollar will have strong negative effects on the growth rate of U.S. manufacturing exports.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6438.

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Date of creation: Mar 1998
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6438

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  1. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  2. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  5. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Mahmut Yasar & Carl H. Nelson & Roderick Rejesus, 2003. "Productivity and Exporting Status of Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from Quantile Regressions," Emory Economics, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) 0323, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).

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