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Estimating productivity with multi-product firms, pricing heterogeneity and the role of international trade

In this paper, we analyze the relationship between exports, imports 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 1998-2008 and link it to 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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Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-13.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2011_013
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
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  1. Jan De Loecker & Frederic Warzynski, 2009. "Markups and firm-level export status," NBER Working Papers 15198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2007. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm : Evidence from Belgium," Working Paper Research 114, National Bank of Belgium.
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  8. Eriksson, Tor & Smeets, Valerie & Warzynski, Frederic, 2009. "Small Open Economy Firms in International Trade: Evidence from Danish Transactions-Level Data," Working Papers 09-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
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  12. Joel Rodrigue & Hiroyuki Kasahara, 2004. "Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 511, Econometric Society.
  13. Bastos, Paulo & Silva, Joana, 2010. "The quality of a firm's exports: Where you export to matters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 99-111, November.
  14. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
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  18. Marcela Eslava & John Haltiwanger & Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2004. "The Effect of Structural Reforms on Productivity and Profitability Enhancing Reallocation: Evidence from Colombia," NBER Working Papers 10367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Salvador Navarro & David Rivers & Amit Gandhi, 2012. "On the Identification of Production Functions: How Heterogeneous is Productivity?," 2012 Meeting Papers 105, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  24. Jeremy T. Fox & Valérie Smeets, 2011. "Does Input Quality Drive Measured Differences In Firm Productivity?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(4), pages 961-989, November.
  25. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
  26. Sourafel Girma & David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Does Exporting Increase Productivity? A Microeconometric Analysis of Matched Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 855-866, November.
  27. Carmine Ornaghi, 2006. "Assessing the effects of measurement errors on the estimation of production functions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 879-891.
  28. Fergal McCann, 2009. "Importing, exporting and productivity in Irish manufacturing," Working Papers 200922, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  29. Enghin Atalay, 2012. "Materials Prices and Productivity," Working Papers 12-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  30. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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