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Firm Heterogeneity: do destinations of exports and origins of imports matter?

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  • Francesco Serti
  • Chiara Tomasi

Abstract

How do importing activities matter in explaining firm heterogeneity? How firm performances are related to foreign markets heterogeneity? Using a rich database on Italian manufacturing firms, this essay adds new evidence on the relationship between trade status and firm characteristics. We uncover evidence supporting recent theories on firm heterogeneity and international trade, together with some new facts. First, the availability of information on import and export enables us to differentiate firms involved in both trading activities - namely two-way traders - from firms that only export, and from those that only import. We show that firms engaged in both import and export outperform those involved in either importing or exporting only. Second, exploiting firm-level information on the destination of export and the origin of imports, we observe the heterogeneity among firms trading with different type of markets. We show that different destinations of exports and different origins of imports map into distinctive firm characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Firm Heterogeneity: do destinations of exports and origins of imports matter?," LEM Papers Series 2008/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2008/14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 241-275, May.
    3. Armando Silva & Oscar Afonso & Ana Africano, 2013. "Economic performance and international trade engagement: the case of Portuguese manufacturing firms," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 521-547, December.
    4. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2013. "Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Firms," wiiw Working Papers 105, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    5. Thanapol Srithanpong, 2015. "Export Destinations and Plant Heterogeneity: Evidence from Thai Manufacturing," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2015-011, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    6. Cuneyt Koyuncu & Rasim Yilmaz, 2010. "Chinese exports and productivity gains: panel evidence," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 24(2), pages 161-170, November.
    7. Nakhoda, Aadil, 2013. "The impact of the exports of BRIC countries plus Turkey on the exports of Pakistan," MPRA Paper 52477, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Valeria Gattai & Valentina Trovato, 2014. "Estimating sourcing premia with Italian regional data," Working Papers 276, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
    9. Michele Imbruno, 2008. "EXPORTING, PRODUCTIVITY AND MARKET INTEGRATON: Italian manufacturing firms within the European context," Quaderni DSEMS 22-2008, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Matematiche e Statistiche, Universita' di Foggia.
    10. Gattai Valeria & Trovato Valentina, 2016. "Estimating Sourcing Premia Using Italian Regional Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 1029-1067, April.
    11. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2016. "Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing and Services Firms," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 87-117, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    heterogeneous firms; exports; imports; productivity; performances; destinations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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