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Learning by Exporting, Importing or Both? Estimating productivity with multi-product firms, pricing heterogeneity and the role of international trade

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In this paper, we analyze the relationship between exporting/importing status and firm productivity. We use a rich product-firm-level dataset providing both revenue and quantities of all products for a large panel of Danish manufacturing firms over the period 1998-2005 and link it to another dataset describing firms’ international trade transactions by product. We use our detailed product level information to compute a firm level deflator and avoid the criticism of biased estimates due to the use of industry level deflator. We find that both importing and exporting behaviours are strongly associated with productivity, but firms involved in both importing and exporting are the most productive. We also find evidence of a self-selection into importing and exporting but no learning effect. Finally, we try to distinguish between cost effect and product quality effect by analyzing the importance of the origin of imports and the destination of exports. We find that both imports from countries with abundant and cheap labor like China and from countries with similar level of development matter, although the mechanism through which productivity is affected is likely to be different. In addition, exporting to more distant OECD economies is more strongly associated to productivity than exporting to neighboring or other EU countries, especially when controlling for the price specific effect

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  • Smeets, Valérie & Warzynski, Frédéric, 2010. "Learning by Exporting, Importing or Both? Estimating productivity with multi-product firms, pricing heterogeneity and the role of international trade," Working Papers 10-13, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2010_013
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    Cited by:

    1. Golikova Victoria & Kuznetsov Boris, 2016. "The Role of Innovation and Globalization Strategies in Post-Crisis Recovery," HSE Working papers WP BRP 123/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Feng, Ling & Li, Zhiyuan & Swenson, Deborah L., 2016. "The connection between imported intermediate inputs and exports: Evidence from Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 86-101.
    3. Andrej Cieslik & Anna Michalek & Jan Jakub Michalek & Jerzy Mycielski, 2015. "Determinants of Export Performance: Comparison of Central European and Baltic Firms," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 65(3), pages 211-229, May.
    4. Dalgic, Basak & Fazlioglu, Burcu & Gasiorek, Michael, 2015. "Costs of trade and self-selection into exporting and importing: The case of Turkish manufacturing firms," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 9, pages 1-28.
    5. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 241-275, May.
    6. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2016. "Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing and Services Firms," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 87-117, February.
    7. Joachim Wagner, 2012. "International trade and firm performance: a survey of empirical studies since 2006," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(2), pages 235-267, June.
    8. Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2016. "Indirect exporters and importers," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(2), pages 251-281, May.
    9. repec:eee:asieco:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:71-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ronald B. Davies & Arman Mazhikeyev, 2015. "The Glass Border: Gender and Exporting in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201525, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    11. David Aristei & Davide Castellani & Chiara Franco, 2013. "Firms’ exporting and importing activities: is there a two-way relationship?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(1), pages 55-84, March.
    12. Piotr Gabrielczak & Agnieszka Klysik-Uryszek, 2014. "Import zaopatrzeniowy i inwestycyjny a perspektywy uczenia sie przedsiebiorstw przemyslowych z wojewodztwa lodzkiego / Import of intermediate and capital goods and learning perspectives for manufactur," International Economics, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, issue 5, pages 45-59, March.
    13. Bas, Maria, 2012. "Input-trade liberalization and firm export decisions: Evidence from Argentina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 481-493.
    14. María D. Parra & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, 2014. "Imported intermediate inputs and Egyptian exports: Exploring the links," Working Papers 2014/09, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).

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    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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