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

  • Jens Matthias Arnold
  • Katrin Hussinger


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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Article provided by Springer & Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy) in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 141 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 219-243

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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. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
  2. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Giuseppe Iarossi & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Exports and Manufacturing Productivity in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis with Firm-Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  5. Sourafel Girma & David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Does Exporting Increase Productivity? A Microeconometric Analysis of Matched Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 855-866, November.
  6. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2003. "Market size matters," Working Paper Series WP-03-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1998. "Export Entry and Exit by German Firms," NBER Working Papers 6538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Davide Castellani, 2002. "Export behavior and productivity growth: Evidence from Italian manufacturing firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(4), pages 605-628, December.
  9. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  10. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," NBER Working Papers 8349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus export decision of Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 448-467, December.
  13. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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 19 Jan 2015.
  17. Paul Collier & Marcel Fafchamps & Francis Teal & Stefan Dercon, 2002. "Do African Manufacturing Firms Learn from Exporting?," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-09, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Marin, Dalia, 1990. "Is the Export-Led Growth Hypothesis Valid for Industrialized Countries?," CEPR Discussion Papers 362, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  21. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
  22. 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.
  23. Almus, Matthias & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2001. "The effects of public R&D subsidies on firms' innovation activities: the case of Eastern Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  24. Dan Ben-David, 1993. "Equalizing Exchange: Trade Liberalization and Income Convergence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 653-679.
  25. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
  26. Andrew B Bernard & J Bradford Jensen, 2001. "Exporting and Productivity: The Importance of Reallocation," Working Papers 01-02, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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