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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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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
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  3. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003. "Exporting Raises Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 10020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  11. Fernandes, Ana M. & Isgut, Alberto E., 2005. "Learning-by-doing, learning-by-exporting, and productivity : evidence from Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3544, The World Bank.
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  13. Ariel Pakes & Steven Olley, 1994. "A Limit Theorem for a Smooth Class of Semiparametric Estimators," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1066, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
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  18. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "ROBUSTNESS OF PRODUCTIVITY ESTIMATES -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 529-569, 09.
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  20. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-54, July.
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