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The Origin and Dynamics of Export Superstars

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  • Freund, Caroline
  • Pierola, Denisse

Abstract

This paper uses firm-level data on manufacturing trade from 40 developing countries to explore how the five largest exporters in a country contribute to export growth and diversification. The origins of these firms are also studied. The data show that the top five exporters account for on average one third of exports, over half of export growth, and almost all of export diversification over a five-year period. Controlling for country and industry-fixed effects, the share of exports in the top five firms increases significantly as exports grow. Most top five exporters were already large five years ago or are new firms; it is extremely rare for these export super- stars to emerge from the bottom half of the firm-size distribution. They are producers, not traders, and are primarily foreign owned.

Suggested Citation

  • Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Denisse, 2016. "The Origin and Dynamics of Export Superstars," CEPR Discussion Papers 11687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11687
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    Cited by:

    1. Clément Nedoncelle, 2021. "Temperatures, Firm Size and Exports in Developing Countries [Températures, Taille des Firmes, et Exportations dans les Pays en Développement]," Post-Print hal-03803308, HAL.
    2. Zoltán Lakner & Anna Kiss & József Popp & Zoltán Zéman & Domicián Máté & Judit Oláh, 2019. "From Basic Research to Competitiveness: An Econometric Analysis of the Global Pharmaceutical Sector," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(11), pages 1-17, June.
    3. Pattnayak, Sanja Samirana & Chadha, Alka, 2022. "Servicification and manufacturing exports: Evidence from India," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    4. Ivus, Olena & Park, Walter, 2019. "Patent reforms and exporter behaviour: Firm-level evidence from developing countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 129-147.
    5. Porcile, Gabriel & Spinola, Danilo & Yajima, Giuliano, 2021. "Patterns of Growth in Structuralist Models: The Role of PoliticalEconomy," CAFE Working Papers 12, Centre for Applied Finance and Economics (CAFE), Birmingham City Business School, Birmingham City University.
    6. Federico J. Diez & Jesse Mora & Alan C. Spearot, 2016. "Firms in international trade," Working Papers 16-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    7. Stjepan Srhoj & Alex Coad & Janette Walde, 2022. "HGX: The Anatomy of High Growth Exporters," Working Papers 2022-15, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    8. Sun, Meng, 2021. "The Internet and SME Participation in Exports," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparative advantage; export growth; firm size distribution; power law;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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