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Why Some Firms Export

  • J Bradford Jensen
  • Andrew B Bernard

This paper presents a dynamic model of the export decision by a profit-maximizing firm. Using a panelofU.S.manufacturing plants, we test for the role of plant characteristics, spillovers from neighboring exporters, entry costs and government export promotion expenditures. Entry and exit in the export market by U.S. plants is substantial, past exporters are apt to reenter, and plants are likely to export in consecutive years. However, we find that entry costs are significant and spillovers from the export activity of other plants negligible. State export promotion expenditures have no significant effect on the probability of exporting. Plant characteristics, especially those indicative of past success, strongly increase the probability of exporting as do favorable exchange rate shocks.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2001/CES-WP-01-05.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 01-05.

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Date of creation: Jun 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:01-05
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  1. Brian Aitken & Gordon H. Hanson & Ann E. Harrison, 1994. "Spillovers, Foreign Investment, and Export Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul Krugman, 1992. "Geography and Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610868, June.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  4. Card, David & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1988. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements in and out of Employment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 497-530, May.
  5. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  6. Richard Baldwin, 1988. "Hysteresis In Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," NBER Working Papers 2545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Roberts, Mark J. & Tybout, James R., 1995. "An empirical model of sunk costs and the decision to export," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1436, The World Bank.
  8. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1992. "On the Estimation of Panel-Data Models with Serial Correlation When Instruments Are Not Strictly Exogenous," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-9, January.
  10. Brainard, S Lael, 1997. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Trade-off between Multinational Sales and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 520-44, September.
  11. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
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