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Exports and Manufacturing Productivity in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis with Firm-Level Data

  • Mary Hallward-Driemeier
  • Giuseppe Iarossi
  • Kenneth L. Sokoloff

This paper uses new firm level data from five East Asian countries to explore the patterns of manufacturing productivity across the region. One of the striking patterns that emerges is how the extent of openness and the competitiveness of markets affects the relative productivity of firms across the region. Firms with foreign ownership and firms that export are significantly more productive, and the productivity gap is larger the less developed is the local market. We exploit the rich set of firm characteristics available in the database to explore the sources of export firms' greater productivity. We argue that it is in aiming for export markets that firms make decisions that raise productivity. It is not simply that more-productive firms self-select into exporting; rather, firms that explicitly target export markets consistently make different decisions regarding investment, training, technology and the selection of inputs, and thus raise their productivity.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8894.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8894.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8894
Note: ITI PR
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  1. Bayoumi, Tamim & Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and Global Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Aw, Bee Yan & Chung, Sukkyun & Roberts, Mark J, 2000. "Productivity and Turnover in the Export Market: Micro-level Evidence from the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China)," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 65-90, January.
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  8. Haddad, Mona & Harrison, Ann, 1993. "Are there positive spillovers from direct foreign investment? : Evidence from panel data for Morocco," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 51-74, October.
  9. Aitken, Brian & Hanson, Gordon H. & Harrison, Ann E., 1997. "Spillovers, foreign investment, and export behavior," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 103-132, August.
  10. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "learning-by-exporting" important? Micro-dynamic evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Wacziarg, Romain, 2000. "Measuring the Dynamic Gains from Trade," Research Papers 1654, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  12. Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary, 2000. "Crisis, Adjustment, and Reform in Thailand's Industrial Firms," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(1), pages 1-22, February.
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  14. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & DEC, 1994. "Do domestic firms benefit from foreign direct investment? Evidence from panel data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1248, The World Bank.
  15. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1995. "Trade liberalization and the dimensions of efficiency change in Mexican manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 53-78, August.
  17. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 1999. "Confronting competition - investment response and constraints in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2242, The World Bank.
  18. James Levinsohn, 1991. "Testing the Imports-as-Market-Discipline Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 3657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
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