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Firm Productivity and Exports in the Wholesale Sector: Evidence from Japan

  • TANAKA Ayumu

Recent works show that wholesale exporters play a large role in international trade. Wholesalers provide intermediate services for manufacturers and account for a substantial portion of total export values for Italy, Japan, and the United States. This study seeks to provide the first evidence on the link between firm productivity and exports by wholesalers, using Japanese firm-level data. Empirical analysis reveals that wholesale firms are heterogeneous and that exporters are more productive than non-exporters in the wholesale sector, as is seen in the manufacturing sector. In addition, the analysis provides the evidence that exporters with foreign subsidiaries tend to be more productive than those without and that they outperform the latter in terms of other measures such as average exports, export-sales ratio, and the extensive margin of exports. These results are in line with the firm heterogeneity model of exports and are similar with the previous empirical studies on manufacturing.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 13007.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:13007
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  1. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2001. "Overseas Investment and Firm Exports," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 108-22, February.
  2. Ahn, JaeBin & Khandelwal, Amit K. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "The role of intermediaries in facilitating trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-85, May.
  3. Sourafel Girma & Richard Kneller & Mauro Pisu, 2005. "Exports versus FDI: An Empirical Test," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 193-218, July.
  4. Bernard, Andrew B. & Grazzi, Marco & Tomasi, Chiara, 2012. "Intermediaries in International Trade: Direct versus indirect modes of export," CEPR Discussion Papers 8766, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Kozo Kiyota & Shujiro Urata, 2005. "The Role of Multinational Firms in International Trade: The Case of Japan," Discussion papers 05012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  7. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Trade and Search: Social Capital, Sogo Shosha, and Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 5618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Fukunari Kimura & Kozo Kiyota, 2006. "Exports, FDI, and Productivity: Dynamic Evidence from Japanese Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 695-719, December.
  9. Akerman, Anders, 2010. "A Theory on the Role of Wholesalers in International Trade based on Economies of Scope," Research Papers in Economics 2010:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  10. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
  11. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus export decision of Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 448-467, December.
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