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Low-productive exporters are high-quality exporters. Evidence from Germany

Author

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  • Wagner, Joachim

    () (Leuphana University Lueneburg and CESIS, Stockholm)

Abstract

A stylized fact from the emerging 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. However, many firms from the lower end of the productivity distribution are exporters. Germany is a case in point. A recent study reports that these low-productivity exporters are not marginal exporters defined according to the share of exports in total sales, or export participation over time, or the number of goods exported, or the number of countries exported to. This paper documents that low-productive exporters are competitive because they export high-quality goods. The quality of exports is much higher among exporters from the lower end of the productivity distribution than among highly productive exporters.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner, Joachim, 2014. "Low-productive exporters are high-quality exporters. Evidence from Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 341, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0341
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    2. Stefan Baumgärtner & Alexandra Klein & Denise Thiel & Klara Winkler, 2015. "Ramsey Discounting of Ecosystem Services," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(2), pages 273-296, June.
    3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 283-313, July.
    4. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
    5. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Joachim Wagner, 2013. "Are low-productive exporters marginal exporters? Evidence from Germany," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 467-481.
    8. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 09-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    10. Joachim Wagner, 2008. "A note on why more West than East German firms export," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 363-370, December.
    11. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 134-161, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joachim Wagner, 2016. "A survey of empirical studies using transaction level data on exports and imports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(1), pages 215-225, February.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-16-00152 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exports; productivity; low-productive exporters; export quality;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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