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Export Behavior and Firm Productivity in German Manufacturing: A Firm-Level Analysis

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  • Jens Matthias Arnold
  • Katrin Hussinger

Abstract

This paper analyses the relationship between firm productivity and export behavior in German manufacturing firms. We examine whether productivity increases the probability of exporting, and assert that there is a causal relationship from high productivity to entering foreign markets, as postulated by the recent literature on international trade with heterogeneous firms. In estimating productivity, we control for a possible simultaneity bias by using semiparametric estimation techniques. Moreover, we apply a matching technique in order to analyze whether the presence in international markets enabled firms to achieve further productivity improvements, without finding significant evidence for this. We conclude that high-productivity firms self-select themselves into export markets, while exporting itself does not play a significant role for productivity improvements.
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Suggested Citation

  • Jens Matthias Arnold & Katrin Hussinger, 2005. "Export Behavior and Firm Productivity in German Manufacturing: A Firm-Level Analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(2), pages 219-243, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:141:y:2005:i:2:p:219-243
    DOI: 10.1007/s10290-005-0026-8
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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    2. Almus, Matthias & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2003. "The Effects of Public R&D Subsidies on Firms' Innovation Activities: The Case of Eastern Germany," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(2), pages 226-236, April.
    3. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    4. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
    5. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Måns Soderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeu, 2004. "Do African Manufacturing Firms Learn from Exporting?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 115-141.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exports; export-led growth; total factor productivity; heterogeneous firms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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