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Understanding the U.S. Export Boom

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  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • J. Bradford Jensen

Abstract

U.S. exports grew at a rate of 8.2% per year from 1987-1994, far faster than the economy as a whole or even the manufacturing sector. This paper examines the source of this export boom and argues that the boom itself has been less remarkable for the rate of growth of exports than for the striking increase in export intensity. This increase in export intensity has occurred both in the aggregate and for individual plants across a wide range of industries. Competing explanations for the rise in exports are tested with a comprehensive plant level data set. Changes in exchange rates and rises in foreign income are the dominant sources for the export increase, while productivity increases in U.S. plants play a relatively small role. The results suggest that slower growth rates of U.S. trading partners and an appreciation of the dollar will have strong negative effects on the growth rate of U.S. manufacturing exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Understanding the U.S. Export Boom," NBER Working Papers 6438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6438
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6438.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, January.
    3. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
    4. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-785, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Avinash Dixit, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-228.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jože Damijan & Črt Kostevc & Matija Rojec, 2015. "Bright past, shady future? Past and potential future export performance of CEE countries in a comparative perspective," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(3), pages 306-335, September.
    2. Mahmut Yasar & Carl H. Nelson & Roderick Rejesus, 2006. "Productivity and Exporting Status of Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from Quantile Regressions," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(4), pages 675-694, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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