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Do Exports Generate Higher Productivity? Evidence from Slovenia

  • Jan De Loecker

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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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Web page: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos
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  1. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2004 Meeting Papers 802, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Pakes, Ariel & Olley, Steven, 1995. "A limit theorem for a smooth class of semiparametric estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 295-332, January.
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  4. Ana M. Fernandes & Alberto E. Isgut, 2005. "Learning-by-Doing, Learning-by-Exporting, and Productivity: Evidence from Colombia," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_018, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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  8. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Asymptotic Normality of Series Estimators for Nonparametric and Semiparametric Regression Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 874R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 1989.
  9. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
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  12. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 150-154, May.
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  16. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
  17. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  19. Westphal, Larry E, 1990. "Industrial Policy in an Export-Propelled Economy: Lessons from South Korea's Experience," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 41-59, Summer.
  20. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  21. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  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.
  26. 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.
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