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Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?

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  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • J. Bradford Jensen

Abstract

A growing body of empirical work has documented the superior performance characteristics" of exporting plants and firms relative to non-exporters. Employment, shipments and capital intensity are all higher at exporters at any given moment. This paper asks whether good" firms become exporters or whether exporting improves firm performance. The evidence is quite" clear on one point: good firms become exporters, both growth rates and levels of success measures" are higher ex-ante for exporters. The benefits of exporting for the firm are less clear. Employment" growth and the probability of survival are both higher for exporters; however growth is not superior, particularly over longer horizons.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6272
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
    2. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford, 1997. "Exporters, skill upgrading, and the wage gap," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 3-31, February.
    3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    4. Aw, B. -Y. & Hwang, A. R., 1995. "Productivity and the export market: A firm-level analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 313-332, August.
    5. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    6. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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