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Exports and productivity selection effects for Dutch firms

  • Kox, Henk L.M.
  • Rojas Romasgosa, Hugo

The paper investigates whether the self-selection hypothesis and other predictions from the heterogeneous-firms trade models can explain the export participation patterns for Dutch firms in manufacturing and services. The results provide strong support for the self-selection hypothesis, according to which firms need higher productivity performance to compensate for sunk entry costs in export markets. After controlling for many firm and market characteristics we robustly find higher productivity levels for exporters. The paper also tests for the reverse causality (learning-by-exporting), but finds no empirical support for it, not even after controlling for the firm's distance to a constructed international productivity frontier. This latter result may be important for the motivation of future export promotion policies. The empirical estimates are achieved by probit regressions at the plant level and at the firm level. As a robustness test we also applied the more standard OLS panel regression estimates, which provided similar results. The paper also tested whether the productivity-export link is conditional on the sectoral market structure and multinational affiliation. Services sectors with high competition and a lower degree of product differentiation have significantly higher export productivity premia than services firms in less competitive sectors. Such differences are not found in the manufacturing sector.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24390.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24390
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  1. Richard Baldwin, 2005. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade: Testable and Untestable Properties of the Melitz Model," NBER Working Papers 11471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 9639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Albornoz-Crespo, Facundo & Calvo Pardo, Hector F. & Corcos, Gregory & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," CEPR Discussion Papers 8103, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Thierry Mayer, . "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 12, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence fro Firm Level Data," International Trade 0504005, EconWPA.
  11. Richard Kneller & Mauro Pisu, 2010. "The returns to exporting: evidence from UK firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 494-519, May.
  12. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  13. Evenson, Robert E. & Westphal, Larry E., 1995. "Technological change and technology strategy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2209-2299 Elsevier.
  14. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
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