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Exports and Productivity – Comparable Evidence for 14 Countries - The International Study Group on Exports and Productivity

  • Joachim Wagner

We use comparable micro level panel data for 14 countries and a set of identically specified empirical models to investigate the relationship between exports and productivity. Our overall results are in line with the big picture that is by now familiar from the literature: Exporters are more productive than non-exporters when observed and unobserved heterogeneity are controlled for, and these exporter productivity premia tend to increase with the share of exports in total sales; there is strong evidence in favour of self-selection of more productive firms into export markets, but nearly no evidence in favour of the learning-by-exporting hypothesis. We document that the exporter premia differ considerably across countries in identically specified empirical models. In a meta-analysis of our results we find that countries that are more open and have more effective government report higher productivity premia. However, the level of development per se does not appear to be an explanation for the observed cross-country differences.

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Paper provided by Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia in its series Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica with number 39/2007.

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Length: 67 pages
Date of creation: 15 Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pia:wpaper:39/2007
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  1. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joze P. Damijan & Saso Polanec & Janez Prasnikar, 2004. "Self-selection, Export Market Heterogeneity and Productivity Improvements: Firm Level Evidence from Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 14804, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  3. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard, 2004. "Exporting and Productivity in the USA," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 343-357, Autumn.
  5. 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.
  6. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003. "Revisiting Some Productivity Debates," NBER Working Papers 10065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jože P. Damijan & Črt Kostevc, 2006. "Learning-by-Exporting: Continuous Productivity Improvements or Capacity Utilization Effects? Evidence from Slovenian Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 599-614, October.
  8. Ricardo A. López, 2005. "Trade and Growth: Reconciling the Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 623-648, 09.
  9. Isgut, Alberto & Fernandes, Ana, 2007. "Learning-by-Exporting Effects: Are They for Real?," MPRA Paper 3121, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity... for Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
  13. Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Self-Selection and Post-Entry Effects of Exports: Evidence from Italian Manufacturing Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(4), pages 660-694, December.
  14. Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Giuseppe Iarossi & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Exports and Manufacturing Productivity in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis with Firm-Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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