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Productivity, Quality, and Export Intensities


  • Rosario Crinò
  • Paolo Epifani


We study how firm and foreign market characteristics affect the geographic distribution of exporters'sales. To this purpose, we use export intensities (the ratio of exports to sales) across destinations as our key measures of firms'relative involvement in heterogeneous foreign markets. In a representative sample of Italian manufacturing firms, we find a robust negative correlation between revenue-TFP and export intensity to low-income destinations and, more generally, that the correlations between export intensities and TFP are increasing in per capita income of the foreign destinations. We argue that these (and other) empirical regularities can arise from the interplay between (endogenous) cross-firm heterogeneity in product quality and cross-country heterogeneity in quality consumption. To test this conjecture, we propose a new strategy to proxy for product quality that allows to exploit some unique features of our dataset. Our results strongly suggest that firms producing higher-quality products tend to concentrate their sales in the domestic and other high-income markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosario Crinò & Paolo Epifani, 2010. "Productivity, Quality, and Export Intensities," Working Papers 457, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:457

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
    2. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
    3. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Colantone, Italo & Crinò, Rosario, 2014. "New imported inputs, new domestic products," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 147-165.
    2. Andrea Caggese & Vicente Cunat, 2013. "Financing Constraints, Firm Dynamics, Export Decisions, and Aggregate Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 177-193, January.
    3. Eleonora Cavallaro & Piero Esposito & Alessia Matano & Marcella Mulino, 2013. "Technological Catching Up, Quality of Exports, and Competitiveness: A Sectoral Perspective," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(6), pages 4-21, November.
    4. LATZER, Hélène & MAYNERIS, Florian, 2012. "Income distribution and vertical comparative advantage. Theory and evidence," CORE Discussion Papers 2012034, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2009. "Self-selection along different export and import markets," LEM Papers Series 2009/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2014. "Export and import market-specific characteristics," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 1467-1496, December.
    7. Bratti, Massimiliano & Felice, Giulia, 2009. "Exporting and Product Innovation at the Firm Level," MPRA Paper 18915, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Heterogeneous Firms; Export Intensities; Quality; Technical Efficiency; Total Factor Productivity (TFP);

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade


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