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Plants and productivity in international trade

  • Andrew B Bernard
  • Jonathan Eaton
  • J. Bradford Jensen
  • Samuel Kortum

We reconcile trade theory with plant-level export behavior, extending the Ricardian model to accommodate many countries, geographic barriers, and imperfect competition. Our model captures qualitatively basic facts about U.S. plants: (i) productivity dispersion, (ii) higher productivity among exporters, (iii) the small fraction who export, (iv) the small fraction earned from exports among exporting plants, and (v) the size advantage of exporters. Fitting the model to bilateral trade among the United States and 46 major trade partners, we examine the impact of globalization and dollar appreciation on productivity, plant entry and exit, and labor turnover in U.S. manufacturing. (JEL F11, F17, O33)

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 00-08.

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Date of creation: May 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:00-08
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  1. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous," Discussion Papers 127, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  2. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2000. "Exporting and Productivity," Working Papers 00-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-39, December.
  5. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  6. Goldberg, L.S. & Campa, J., 1993. "Investment in Manufacturing, Exchange-Rate and External Exposure," Working Papers 93-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
  8. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
  10. Linda Goldberg & Joseph Tracy, 2001. "Exchange Rates and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Samuel S. Kortum, 1997. "Research, Patenting, and Technological Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1389-1420, November.
  12. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  13. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  14. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  15. 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.
  16. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-70, August.
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