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How important is exporting and ownership to productivity growth? Micro Evidence from a Small Open Economy


  • Anne Marie Gleeson
  • Frances Ruane


This paper links the literature that analyses the sources of productivity growth with that which explores differences between the characteristics of exporters and non-exporters to examine the contributions to aggregate labour productivity growth of both groups. The analysis used Irish manufacturing plant-level data for 1998, 2001 and 2004. Using two different decomposition techniques, we uncover the contributions to aggregate labour productivity of continuing, entering and exiting firms based on exporting and ownership status. We find that within-firm productivity growth of exporters drives overall productivity growth, with significant differences apparent between the productivity growth rates of foreign and domestic owned establishments.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Marie Gleeson & Frances Ruane, 2009. "How important is exporting and ownership to productivity growth? Micro Evidence from a Small Open Economy," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 55(3), pages 197-218.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqaeq:v55_y2009_i3_q3_p197-218

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Helmut Fryges & Joachim Wagner, 2008. "Exports and Productivity Growth: First Evidence from a Continuous Treatment Approach," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 144(4), pages 695-722, December.
    2. Sylvia Zühlke & Markus Zwick & Sebastian Scharnhorst & Thomas Wende, 2004. "European Data Watch: The research data centres of the Federal Statistical Office and the statistical offices of the Länder," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 124(4), pages 567-578.
    3. Helmers, Christian & Trofimenko, Natalia, 2009. "Export subsidies in a heterogeneous firms framework," Kiel Working Papers 1476, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Holger Görg & Michael Henry & Eric Strobl, 2008. "Grant Support and Exporting Activity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 168-174, February.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    6. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
    7. Michael Fritsch & Bernd Görzig & Ottmar Hennchen & Andreas Stephan, 2004. "European Data Watch: Cost Structure Surveys for Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 124(4), pages 557-566.
    8. Volpe Martincus, Christian & Carballo, Jerónimo, 2008. "Is export promotion effective in developing countries? Firm-level evidence on the intensive and the extensive margins of exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 89-106, September.
    9. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
    10. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    11. Girma, Sourafel & Gong, Yundan & Görg, Holger & Yu, Zhihong, 2007. "Can Production Subsidies Foster Export Activity? Evidence from Chinese Firm Level Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6052, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Feb 2018.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Carreira, 2013. "Learning, Exporting and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Portuguese Manufacturing and Services Firms," GEMF Working Papers 2013-23, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.

    More about this item


    exporters; productivity; decomposition; reallocation; manufacturing;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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