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A Firm-level Examination of the Exports Puzzle: Why East Asian Exports Didn't Increase After the 1997-1998 Financial Crisis

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  • Garrick Blalock
  • Sonali Roy

Abstract

We analyse a detailed panel dataset on Indonesian manufacturing firms to characterise the exports puzzle: the surprising absence of export-led growth after the massive currency devaluation during the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. Our results show that, consistent with trade theory predictions following better terms of trade, entry into export markets increased dramatically. In conflict with the same predictions, however, many pre-crisis exporters quit exporting. Thus stagnant export growth cannot be attributable to a lack of entrepreneurial ambition or activity amongst would-be exporters. Rather, it apparently resulted from constraints prohibiting continued exporting by pre-crisis exporters. Managerial reports of perceived constraints reveal little about why so many firms ceased exporting. However, 'better' firms, as proxied by foreign ownership, involvement in research and development, or investment in training, were more likely to continue exporting post-crisis. Copyright 2007 The Authors Journal compilation 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd .

Suggested Citation

  • Garrick Blalock & Sonali Roy, 2007. "A Firm-level Examination of the Exports Puzzle: Why East Asian Exports Didn't Increase After the 1997-1998 Financial Crisis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 39-59, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:30:y:2007:i:1:p:39-59
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "The East Asian Financial Crisis: Diagnosis, Remedies, Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 1-90.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew A. Cole & Robert J. R. Elliott & Supreeya Virakul, 2010. "Firm Heterogeneity, Origin of Ownership and Export Participation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 264-291, February.
    2. Akarım, Yasemin Deniz, 2013. "The impact of financial factors on export decisions: The evidence from Turkey," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 305-308.
    3. Joel Stiebale, 2008. "Do Financial Constraints Matter for Foreign Market Entry? – A Firm-Level Examination," Ruhr Economic Papers 0051, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Nicolas Berman & Antoine Berthou, 2009. "Financial Market Imperfections and the Impact of Exchange Rate Movements on Exports," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 103-120, February.
    5. Youssouf KIENDREBEOGO, 2012. "Export Activity and Productivity: New Evidence from the Egyptian Manufacturing Industry," Working Papers 201220, CERDI.
    6. Alexandru Voicu, 2008. "Adding Rungs to the Exporting Ladder: Plant-Level Exporting Dynamics and Total Factor Productivity Growth," DEGIT Conference Papers c013_013, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    7. Greenaway, David & Guariglia, Alessandra & Kneller, Richard, 2007. "Financial factors and exporting decisions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 377-395, November.
    8. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J. & Levine, David I., 2008. "Financial constraints on investment in an emerging market crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 568-591, April.
    9. Greenaway, David & Kneller, Richard, 2008. "Exporting, productivity and agglomeration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 919-939, July.
    10. Voicu, Alexandru, 2008. "Adding Rungs to the Exporting Ladder: Plant-Level Exporting Dynamics and Total Factor Productivity Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 3807, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. repec:zbw:rwirep:0051 is not listed on IDEAS

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