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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
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24390
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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. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
  3. Richard Kneller, & Mauro Pisu, . "The Returns to Exporting: Evidence from UK Firms," Discussion Papers 07/04, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  4. Facundo Albornoz & Hector Calvo-Pardo & Gregory Corcos & Emanuel Ornelas, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," CEP Discussion Papers dp0974, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Jan De Loecker, 2004. "Do Exports Generate Higher Productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 15104, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  10. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," IFS Working Papers W03/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence from Firm-level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 60-82, 01.
  12. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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