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Trade Complexity and Productivity

  • Carlo Altomonte

    ()

    (IAM - Bocconi University, KITeS and FEEM, Milan)

  • Gabor Békés

    ()

    (Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Science. Corresponding author: IE-HAS, 1112 Budaorsi ut 45, Budapest, Hungary.)

We exploit a panel dataset of Hungarian firms merged with product-level trade data for the period 1992-2003 to investigate the relation between firms' trading activities (importing, exporting or both) and productivity. We find important self-selection effects of the most productive firms induced by the existence of heterogeneous sunk costs of trade, for both importers and exporters. We relate these sunk costs of trade to the relationship-specific nature of the trade activities, entailing a certain degree of technological and organizational complexity. We also show that, to the extent that imports and exports are correlated within firms, failing to control for the importing activity leads to overstated average productivity premia of exporters.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/cri/papers/KitesWP16.pdf
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Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 016.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision: Jul 2009
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:kites16_wp
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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hiroyuki Kasahara & Joel Rodrigue, 2005. "Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20057, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  3. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Thierry Mayer, . "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 12, June.
  4. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, . "Imports and exports at the level of the firm: Evidence from Belgium," Discussion Papers 07/28, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  5. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2005. "Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," Working Paper Series WP05-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  7. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  8. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2001. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Trade costs, firms and productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 917-937, July.
  10. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Keller, Wolfgang & Yeaple, Stephen R, 2009. "Global Production and Trade in the Knowledge Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7175, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  14. Laszlo Halpern & Miklos Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2006. "Imports and Productivity," 2006 Meeting Papers 796, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Susan E. Feinberg & Michael P. Keane, 2001. "U.S.-Canada Trade Liberalization And Mnc Production Location," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 118-132, February.
  16. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Lapham, Beverly, 2013. "Productivity and the decision to import and export: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 297-316.
  17. David L. Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  18. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
  19. Davide Castellani & Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Firms in International Trade: Importers and Exporters Heterogeneity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry," LEM Papers Series 2008/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  20. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, March.
  21. Arndt, Sven W. & Kierzkowski, Henryk (ed.), 2001. "Fragmentation: New Production Patterns in the World Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199243310, July.
  22. Robert C. Feenstra, . "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Department of Economics 98-06, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  23. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
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