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Do outliers and unobserved heterogeneity explain the exporter productivity premium? Evidence from France, Germany and the United Kingdom

  • Temouri, Yama


    (Aston University)

  • Wagner, Joachim


    (Leuphana University)

A stylized fact from the literature on the Micro-econometrics of International Trade and a central implication of the heterogeneous firm models from the New New Trade Theory is that exporters are more productive than non-exporters. It is argued that this exporter productivity premium is due to extra costs of exporting that can be covered only by more productive firms. However, in recent papers that control for extreme observations and unobserved firm heterogeneity by applying a highly robust fixed-effects estimator, no such exporter productivity premium is found for firms from manufacturing and services industries in Germany. This paper uses enterprise level panel data for France, Germany and the United Kingdom from 2003 to 2008 to systematically investigate the role of outliers and unobserved firm heterogeneity for estimates of the exporter productivity premium. We report that outliers do have an influence on the estimated exporter productivity premium. We argue that the vanishing exporter premium in robust fixed effects estimations that is reported for all three countries is caused by characteristics of firms that start or stop to export over the period under investigation, and that are not representative for the bulk of firms that either export or not.

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Paper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 320.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 18 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0320
Contact details of provider: Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Joachim Wagner, 2011. "International Trade and Firm Performance: A Survey of Empirical Studies since 2006," Working Paper Series in Economics 210, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence fro Firm Level Data," International Trade 0504005, EconWPA.
  3. Stephen J. Redding, 2010. "Theories of Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," NBER Working Papers 16562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Vincenzo Verardi & Alice McCathie, 2012. "The S-estimator of multivariate location and scatter in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 12(2), pages 299–307, June.
  5. Vincenzo Verardi & Joachim Wagner, 2011. "Robust Estimation of Linear Fixed Effects Panel Data Models with an Application to the Exporter Productivity Premium," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 231(4), pages 546-557, August.
  6. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Verardi, Vincenzo & Wagner, Joachim, 2010. "Productivity Premia for German Manufacturing Firms Exporting to the Euro-Area and Beyond: First Evidence from Robust Fixed Effects Estimations," IZA Discussion Papers 4964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Vincenzo Verardi & Christophe Croux, 2009. "Robust regression in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(3), pages 439-453, September.
  10. Helpman, Elhanan, 2011. "Understanding Global Trade," Economics Books, Harvard University Press, number 9780674060784.
  11. Peter Gal & Alexander Hijzen & Zoltan Wolf, 2012. "The Role of Institutions and Firm Heterogeneity for Labour Market Adjustment: Cross-Country Firm-Level Evidence," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 134, OECD Publishing.
  12. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," Working Papers 12-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
  14. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2000. "The Craft of Labormetrics," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 363-380, April.
  15. Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Trade, FDI, and the Organization of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 589-630, September.
  16. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2000. "The Craft of labormetrics," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 363-380, April.
  17. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2011. "Robust estimates of exporter productivity premia in German business services enterprises," Working Paper Series in Economics 207, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
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