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Does Immigrant Employment Matter for Exports? Evidence From Denmark

Immigration impacts the economy in ample ways: it affects growth, wages and total factor productivity. This study deals with the effects of immigration on firm exports. Can firms benefit from hiring immigrants to expand their export sales? Or do immigrants who live in the firm’s region affect trade? In contrast to the existing literature, we are able to distinguish these two distinct channels. Using matched employer-employee data from Denmark for the years 1995 - 2005, we provide novel insight in the nexus between exports and immigration. We further contribute to the literature by providing first evidence on the adjustment of firms’ product portfolio in response to immigration. Our results show that firms can reap the benefits from immigration only through hiring foreigners. This implies that the trade-cost reducing intercultural knowledge embedded in foreign expatriates can only be accessed via employment. Thus, to tap the full potential of foreign labor movements for international trade, political efforts should be targeted towards labor market integration of immigrants.

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File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/wper/11-16_sanh.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-16.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2011_016
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
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx

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  1. repec:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:97-98:p:03 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2002. "Multiproduct Quality Competition: Fighting Brands and Product Line Pruning," Economics Series Working Papers 105, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Eaton, B Curtis & Schmitt, Nicolas, 1994. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 875-88, September.
  4. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Hiller, Sanne & Sala, Davide, 2008. "Does Immigration Boost Per Capita Income?," Working Papers 08-23, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Peter Neary & Carsten Eckel, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Economics Series Working Papers 292, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Melitz, Jacques, 2002. "Language and Foreign Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3590, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Costas Arkolakis & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2010. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Jung, Benjamin, 2009. "The pro-trade effect of the brain drain: Sorting out confounding factors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 72-75, August.
  9. Gabriel J Felbermayr & Benjamin Jung & Farid Toubal, 2009. "Ethnic Networks, Information, and International Trade: Revisiting the Evidence," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 306/2009, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  10. Pamina Koenig, 2009. "Immigration and the export decision to the home country," PSE Working Papers halshs-00574972, HAL.
  11. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
  12. Allanson, Paul & Montagna, Catia, 2005. "Multiproduct firms and market structure: An explorative application to the product life cycle," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 587-597, September.
  13. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade & Thierry Mayer, 2005. "The Trade Creating Effects of Business and Social Networks: Evidence from France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00268768, HAL.
  14. Leonardo Iacovone & BeataS. Javorcik, 2010. "Multi-Product Exporters: Product Churning, Uncertainty and Export Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 481-499, 05.
  15. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00574972 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Martyn Andrews & Thorsten Schank & Richard Upward, 2006. "Practical fixed-effects estimation methods for the three-way error-components model," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(4), pages 461-481, December.
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