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Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels

  • Pedro Martins
  • Luca David Opromolla

We investigate the relationship between exporting, importing, and wage premia using a rich matched employer-employee data set. We improve on the previous literature (i) by using a new methodology to quantify the contribution of an extensive set of worker- and rm-level observable and unobservable characteristics to the wage gap, and (ii) by controlling for the import as well as the export activity of the firm. These two innovations allow us to avoid large biases that characterized the previous literature. A robust result is that the hiring policy of exporters is quite different than the one of importers. While firm size and sales are, to different extents, important components of the wage gap both for exporters and importers, importers hire workers that are overwhelmingly more able than the average. Workers at exporting firms, on the contrary, are no different in terms of unobserved time-invariant characteristics.Our analysis provides a useful guidance for recent theories that aim at explaining participation both in export and import markets and at including non-neoclassical labor market features into trade models.

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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w201123.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201123
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  1. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003. "Exporting Raises Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 10020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gabor Békés & Carlo Altomonte, 2009. "Trade Complexity and Productivity," Working Papers 2009.62, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
  4. Devashish Mitra & Priya Ranjan, 2007. "Offshoring and Unemployment," Working Papers 060719, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  5. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2008. "Globalization and Labor Market Outcomes: Wage Bargaining, Search Frictions, and Firm Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 3363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Trade and Labor Market Outcomes," CEP Discussion Papers dp1028, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Anabela Carneiro & Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "Real Wages and the Business Cycle: Accounting for Worker and Firm Heterogeneity," Working Papers w200910, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  8. Munch, Jakob Roland & Rose Skaksen, Jan, 2009. "Human Capital and Wages in Exporting Firms," Working Papers 09-2006, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  9. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2007. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm: Evidence from Belgium," CEP Discussion Papers dp0801, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. 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.
  12. Joel Rodrigue & Hiroyuki Kasahara, 2004. "Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 511, Econometric Society.
  13. Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009. "A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," Working Papers w200909, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  14. 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.
  15. Alfonso Irarrazabal & Andreas Moxnes & Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 2013. "Heterogeneous Firms or Heterogeneous Workers? Implications for Exporter Premiums and the Gains from Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 839-849, July.
  16. Amiti, Mary & Davis, Donald R, 2008. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6872, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Paul R. Krugman, 2008. "Trade and Wages, Reconsidered," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 103-154.
  18. Iacovone, Leonardo & Javorcik, Beata S., 2008. "Multi-product exporters : diversification and micro-level dynamics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4723, The World Bank.
  19. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  20. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2008. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 14416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Alfonso Irarrazabal & Andreas Moxnes & Luca David Opromolla, 2013. "The Margins of Multinational Production and the Role of Intrafirm Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(1), pages 74 - 126.
  22. João Amador & Luca David Opromolla, 2008. "Product and Destination Mix in Export Markets," Working Papers w200817, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  23. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Working Paper Series in Economics 28, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  24. Martins, Pedro S., 2007. "Dismissals for Cause: The Difference That Just Eight Paragraphs Can Make," IZA Discussion Papers 3112, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J. & Shevchenko, Andrei, 2008. "Globalization and firm level adjustment with imperfect labor markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 295-309, July.
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