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Do Exports Generate Higher Productivity? Evidence from Slovenia

  • Jan De Loecker


I use matched sampling techniques to analyze whether firms that start exporting become more productive. To this end, I use micro data of Slovenian manufacturing firms operating between the period 1994-2000. I estimate total factor productivity using the Olley-Pakes correction for sample selection and for potential endogeneity of the input factors. In most sectors I find evidence supporting the learning by exporting hypothesis controlling for the self-selection process explicitly. Exporting firms become on average 20 percent more productive once they start exporting. This result is robust to other controls that may be associated with increased productivity, such as private ownership. Finally, I introduce export as a state variable in the dynamic program of the firm and allow exporting firms to face different market structures and factor prices. This leads to a modification in the Olley and Pakes estimation algorithm. The results of learning by exporting are - if anything - even stronger.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 15104.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:15104
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  1. Bernard, A. & Wagner, J., 1996. "Exports and Success in German Manufacturing," Working papers 96-10, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  8. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," NBER Working Papers 7852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Evenson, Robert E. & Westphal, Larry E., 1995. "Technological change and technology strategy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2209-2299 Elsevier.
  10. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2004. "Robustness of Productivity Estimates," NBER Working Papers 10303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
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  19. Jozef Konings & Ana Xavier, 2002. "Firm Growth and Survival in a Transition Country: Micro Evidence from Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 11402, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  20. A. Isgut, 2001. "What's Different about Exporters? Evidence from Colombian Manufacturing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 57-82.
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  23. Haijime Katayama & Shihua Lu & James Tybout, 2003. "Why Plant-Level Productivity Studies are Often Misleading, and an Alternative Approach to Interference," NBER Working Papers 9617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  25. De Loecker, Jan & Konings, Jozef, 2006. "Job reallocation and productivity growth in a post-socialist economy: Evidence from Slovenian manufacturing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 388-408, June.
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