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Export, Productivity and Product Switching: The Case of Italian Manufacturing Firms

  • Sergio de Nardis

    (ISAE-Institute for Studies and Economic Analyses)

  • Carmine Pappalardo

    (ISAE-Institute for Studies and Economic Analyses)

During the first half of the current decade, with rising competitive pressures, Italian manufacturing firms were forced to undertake a process of restructuring which had positive repercussions on export performance. This paper carries out empirical analysis using a panel of exporting firms obtained by matching firm-level information gathered by ISTAT and ISAE surveys. Two main channels of adjustment are investigated: inter and intra-firm. On the inter-firm side, we find that exporters were actually more productive: exporting was an essential outcome of pre-existing productivity advantages that led to self-selection of more productive businesses in international markets. As for the intra-firm adjustment, we show that the high frequency of product switching behaviour within exporting firms was significantly correlated with firm-level productivity growth, and that it contributed to a reallocation of economic activity within firms to more productive uses.

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Paper provided by ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY) in its series ISAE Working Papers with number 110.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:isa:wpaper:110
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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Matteo Bugamelli & Fabiano Schivardi & Roberta Zizza, . "The euro and firm restructuring," Working Papers 10, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
  4. Malgarini, Marco & Margani, Patrizia & Martelli, Bianca Maria, 2005. "Re-engineering the ISAE manufacturing survey," MPRA Paper 42440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  6. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
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  8. Newey, Whitney K, 1990. "Efficient Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 809-37, July.
  9. Davide Castellani, 2002. "Export behavior and productivity growth: Evidence from Italian manufacturing firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(4), pages 605-628, December.
  10. Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Self-Selection and Post-Entry Effects of Exports: Evidence from Italian Manufacturing Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(4), pages 660-694, December.
  11. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  13. Vella, Francis & Verbeek, Marno, 1999. "Estimating and Interpreting Models with Endogenous Treatment Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(4), pages 473-78, October.
  14. Davide Castellani & Antonello Zanfei, 2007. "Internationalisation, Innovation and Productivity: How Do Firms Differ in Italy?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 156-176, 01.
  15. Alessandro STERLACCHINI, 2000. "The determinants of export performance: A firmlevel study in Italian Manufacturing," Working Papers 142, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  16. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
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