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Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels

  • Martins, Pedro S.


    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Opromolla, Luca David


    (Banco de Portugal)

We investigate the relationship between exporting, importing, and wage premia using a rich matched employer-employee data set. We improve on the previous literature (i) by using a new methodology to quantify the contribution of an extensive set of worker- and firm-level observable and unobservable characteristics to the wage gap, and (ii) by controlling for the import as well as the export activity of the firm. These two innovations allow us to avoid large biases that characterized the previous literature. A robust result is that the hiring policy of exporters is quite different than the one of importers. While firm size and sales are, to different extents, important components of the wage gap both for exporters and importers, importers hire workers that are overwhelmingly more able than the average. Workers at exporting firms, on the contrary, are no different in terms of unobserved time-invariant characteristics. Our analysis provides a useful guidance for recent theories that aim at explaining participation both in export and import markets and at including non-neoclassical labor market features into trade models.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6013.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6013
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  1. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. João Amador & Luca Opromolla, 2013. "Product and destination mix in export markets," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 23-53, March.
  3. 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, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767, November.
  4. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003. "Exporting Raises Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 10020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Laszlo Halpern & Miklos Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Import and Productivity," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0509, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  6. Gabor Békés & Carlo Altomonte, 2009. "Trade Complexity and Productivity," Working Papers 2009.62, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Devashish Mitra & Priya Ranjan, 2007. "Offshoring and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mary Amiti & Donald R. Davis, 2012. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 1-36.
  9. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2007. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm: Evidence from Belgium," CEP Discussion Papers dp0801, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Trade and Labor Market Outcomes," CEP Discussion Papers dp1028, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
  12. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Pedro S. Martins, 2008. "Dismissals for cause: The difference that just eight paragraphs can make," Working Papers 24, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  14. Munch, Jakob R. & Skaksen, Jan Rose, 2006. "Human Capital and Wages in Exporting Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 2409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Globalization and labor market outcomes: Wage bargaining, search frictions, and firm heterogeneity," Munich Reprints in Economics 20471, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," Working Papers w200910, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  17. Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," Working Papers w200909, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  18. Iacovone, Leonardo & Javorcik, Beata S., 2008. "Multi-product exporters : diversification and micro-level dynamics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4723, The World Bank.
  19. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J. & Shevchenko, Andrei, 2008. "Globalization and firm level adjustment with imperfect labor markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 295-309, July.
  20. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
  21. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  22. Irarrazabal, Alfonso & Moxnes, Andreas & Opromolla, Luca David, 2009. "The Margins of Multinational Production and the Role of Intra-firm trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7145, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Rodrigue, Joel, 2008. "Does the use of imported intermediates increase productivity? Plant-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 106-118, August.
  24. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Working Paper Series in Economics 28, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  25. Alfonso Irarrazabal & Andreas Moxnes & Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 2013. "Heterogeneous Firms or Heterogeneous Workers? Implications for Exporter Premiums and the Gains from Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 839-849, July.
  26. Paul R. Krugman, 2008. "Trade and Wages, Reconsidered," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 103-154.
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