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Trade and technology: New evidence on the productivity sorting of firms

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  • Bertschek, Irene
  • Hogrefe, Jan
  • Rasel, Fabienne

Abstract

Using a unique German firm-level data set, we provide empirical evidence for a productivity sorting along two dimensions: international activity and technology choice. We consider domestic and exporting firms and measure technology choice by firms' actual use of advanced information technology (IT). For manufacturing firms, the observed sorting pattern is consistent with recent theories of heterogeneous firms and technology choice: Only the relatively more productive ones among internationally active firms are also highly technology intensive. For service sector firms we find similar evidence, yet the results seem to depend on the trade cost of certain services. In general, recent theoretical advances regarding trade and technology adoption thus seem to better fit the manufacturing sector. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 13-042.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13042

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Keywords: exports; productivity; sorting; information technology; firm-level data;

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  1. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity... for Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099, August.
  2. Wilhelm Kohler & Marcel Smolka, 2009. "Global Sourcing Decisions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 2903, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Melitz, Marc J. & Trefler, Daniel, 2012. "Gains from Trade When Firms Matter," Scholarly Articles 10914282, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade Liberalization, Exports and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean Firms," 2009 Meeting Papers 1029, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
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