IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/12728.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Exports and labor costs: Evidence from a French Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Malgouyres, Clément
  • Mayer, Thierry

Abstract

We investigate the role that labor costs hold in exporters' performance. To do so, we exploit a large-scale French reform that granted most firms a tax credit proportional to the wagebill of their employees paid below a given threshold. This policy effectively translated into a cut in labor cost whose magnitude varies depending on firm-specific wage structures. We use the predicted treatment intensity based on pre-reform composition of the labor force as an instrument for the actual policy-induced firm-level change in labor costs. Although our point estimates are consistent with commonly estimated firm-level trade elasticities combined with reasonable labor shares in total costs, coefficients are found to be very noisy, suggesting lack of robust evidence of a causal effect of the policy. We discuss several potential explanations for our results as well as their implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Malgouyres, Clément & Mayer, Thierry, 2018. "Exports and labor costs: Evidence from a French Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 12728, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12728
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12728
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mary Amiti & Oleg Itskhoki & Jozef Konings, 2014. "Importers, Exporters, and Exchange Rate Disconnect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 1942-1978, July.
    2. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 2001. "Trade in capital goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1195-1235.
    3. Owen M. Zidar, 2015. "Tax Cuts For Whom? Heterogeneous Effects of Income Tax Changes on Growth and Employment," NBER Working Papers 21035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Stefaan Decramer & Catherine Fuss & Jozef Konings, 2016. "How Do Exporters React to Changes in Cost Competitiveness?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(10), pages 1558-1583, October.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    6. Fitzgerald, Doireann & Haller, Stefanie, 2018. "Exporters and shocks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 154-171.
    7. W. Reed Walker, 2013. "The Transitional Costs of Sectoral Reallocation: Evidence From the Clean Air Act and the Workforce," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1787-1835.
    8. Bas, Maria & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2017. "From micro to macro: Demand, supply, and heterogeneity in the trade elasticity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-19.
    9. Antoine Berthou & Lionel Fontagné, 2016. "Variable Trade Costs, Composition Effects and the Intensive Margin of Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 54-71, January.
    10. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2007. "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms New facts based on firm-level evidence," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10147, Sciences Po.
    11. Juan Carluccio & Denis Fougère & Erwan Gautier, 2015. "Trade, Wages and Collective Bargaining: Evidence from France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(584), pages 803-837, May.
    12. Daniel Paravisini & Veronica Rappoport & Philipp Schnabl & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2015. "Dissecting the Effect of Credit Supply on Trade: Evidence from Matched Credit-Export Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 333-359.
    13. Hombert, Johan & Matray, Adrien, 2015. "Can Innovation Help U.S. Manufacturing Firms Escape Import Competition from China?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10666, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Matthieu Crozet & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "Quality Sorting and Trade: Firm-level Evidence for French Wine," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 609-644.
    15. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    16. Mathieu Bunel & Yannick L'Horty, 2012. "The Effects of Reduced Social Security Contributions on Employment: An Evaluation of the 2003 French Reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 33(3), pages 371-398, September.
    17. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "How do Different Exporters React to Exchange Rate Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 437-492.
    18. Gan, Li & Hernandez, Manuel A. & Ma, Shuang, 2016. "The higher costs of doing business in China: Minimum wages and firms' export behavior," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 81-94.
    19. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10147 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Bas, Maria & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2017. "From micro to macro: Demand, supply, and heterogeneity in the trade elasticity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-19.
    21. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Charlotte Emlinger & Sébastien Jean & Vincent Vicard, 2019. "L’étonnante atonie des exportations françaises : retour sur la compétitivité et ses déterminants," CEPII Policy Brief 2019-24, CEPII research center.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    competitiveness; firm-level exports; labor costs;

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12728. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.