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Plants and Productivity in International Trade

  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Jonathan Eaton
  • J. Bradford Jensen
  • Samuel Kortum

We reconcile trade theory with plant-level export behavior, extending the Ricardian model to accommodate many countries, geographic barriers, and imperfect competition. Our model captures qualitatively basic facts about U.S. plants: (i) productivity dispersion, (ii) higher productivity among exporters, (iii) the small fraction who export, (iv) the small fraction earned from exports among exporting plants, and (v) the size advantage of exporters. Fitting the model to bilateral trade among the United States and 46 major trade partners, we examine the impact of globalization and dollar appreciation on productivity, plant entry and exit, and labor turnover in U.S. manufacturing. (JEL F11, F17, O33)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1268-1290

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:4:p:1268-1290
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803769206296
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  1. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  2. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-39, December.
  3. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-61, July-Aug..
  4. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "learning-by-exporting" important? Micro-dynamic evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  6. Goldberg, L.S. & Campa, J., 1993. "Investment in Manufacturing, Exchange-Rate and External Exposure," Working Papers 93-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. 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.
  8. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ledders In The Theory Of Growth," Papers 148, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  9. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
  10. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Linda Goldberg & Joseph Tracy, 2001. "Exchange rates and wages," Staff Reports 116, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Samuel S. Kortum, 1997. "Research, Patenting, and Technological Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1389-1420, November.
  13. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  14. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-70, August.
  15. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 1998. "Productivity and the Decision to Export: Micro Evidence from Taiwan and South Korea," NBER Working Papers 6558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2000. "Exporting and Productivity," Working Papers 00-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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