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Performance of Exporters: Scale Effects or Continuous Productivity Improvements

  • Crt Kostevc

Following along the lines of a growing literature on the causal link between exporting and productivity this paper analyzes the existence of 'learning-by-exporting'in Slovenian manufacturing between 1994 and 2002. This paper asks whether in addition to good firms self-selecting into exports and multinational production exporting (multinational production) further improves their performance compared with non-exporters. I develop a simple model of trade and international production with heterogeneous firms that generates learning effects through competition in the export markets. The estimations performed on the Slovenian sample indicate that more productive firms tend to self-select into more competitive markets, while there is no conclusive evidence of learning-by-exporting. Namely, although new exporters experienced a surge in productivity in the initial year of exports the effect dissipates in the following years. This leads me to conclude that the perceived learning effects are in fact only a consequence of more efficient utilization of available production capacity brought forth by the opening of an additional market.

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File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos/publications/dp/dp159.pdf
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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 15905.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:15905
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  1. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  2. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," NBER Working Papers 7852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lawrence, Colin & Spiller, Pablo T, 1983. "Product Diversity, Economies of Scale, and International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 63-83, February.
  4. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1999. "Exporting and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 7135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  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.
  10. Keith Head & John Ries, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus Export Decision of Japanese Manufacturers," NBER Working Papers 10052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2015.
  12. Yang, Xiaokai & Heijdra, Ben J, 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 295-301, March.
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