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Exports, Foreign Direct Investments and Productivity: Are Services Firms different?

  • Joachim Wagner


    (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

This paper contributes to the literature on international firm activities and firm performance by providing the first evidence on the link of productivity and both exports and foreign direct investment (fdi) in services firms from a highly developed country. It uses unique new data from Germany - one of the leading actors on the world market for services - that merge information from regular surveys and from a one-time special purpose survey performed by the Statistical Offices. Descriptive statistics, parametric and non-parametric statistical tests and regression analyses (with and without explicitly taking differences along the conditional productivity distribution and firms with extreme values, or outliers, into account) indicate that the productivity pecking order found in numerous studies using data for firms from manufacturing industries – where the firms with the highest productivity engage in fdi while the least productive firms serve the home market only and the productivity of exporting firms is in between – does not exist among firms from services industries. In line with the theoretical model and the empirical results for software firms from India provided by Bhattacharya, Patnaik and Shah (2010) there is evidence that firms with fdi are less productive than firms that export.

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Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 215.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:215
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  1. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  2. Bhattacharya, Rudrani & Patnaik, Ila & Shah, Ajay, 2011. "Export versus FDI in services," Working Papers 11/77, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
  3. Roberto Álvarez & Martin Andersson & Flora Bellone & Loren Brandt & Davide Castellani & Joze P. Damijan & Jose C. Fariñas & Ana M. Fernandes & Helmut Fryges & Holger Görg & David Greenaway & Stefanie , 2007. "Exports and Productivity: Comparable Evidence for 14 Countries," CIE Discussion Papers 2007-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521845731 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Quantile Regression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
  6. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," Working Papers 05-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Alexander Vogel, 2009. "The German Business Services Statistics Panel 2003 to 2007," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(3), pages 515-522.
  8. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A survey of the evidence from firm level data," Working Paper Series in Economics 4, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  9. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-65, June.
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  16. Helpman, Elhanan, 2011. "Understanding Global Trade," Economics Books, Harvard University Press, number 9780674060784.
  17. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2011. "Robust estimates of exporter productivity premia in German business services enterprises," Working Paper Series in Economics 207, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  18. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
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  21. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
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