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Trade and Profitability: Is there an export premium? Evidence from Italian manufacturing firms

  • Marco Grazzi

Using firm level data this study investigates the relation between export activity and firm's profitability. The paper shows that, contrary to other performance indicators such as productivity, exporting activity is not systematically associated to higher firm's profitability. This is shown both by means of non-parametric methods and, with an approach that is more standard within the empirical trade literature, by regression techniques that try to identify an "export premium".

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2009/16.

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Date of creation: 27 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2009/16
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  1. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Thierry Mayer, . "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 12, November.
  2. Fryges, Helmut & Wagner, Joachim, 2008. "Exports and Profitability: First Evidence for German Manufacturing Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 3798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. 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.
  5. De Loecker, Jan & Warzynski, Frederic, 2009. "Markups and Firm-level Export Status," CEPR Discussion Papers 7450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Cheng Hsiao, 2007. "Panel data analysis—advantages and challenges," TEST: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22, May.
  7. Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2007. "Self Selection and Post-Entry effects of Exports. Evidence from Italian Manufacturing firms," LEM Papers Series 2007/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  8. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  9. Giulio Bottazzi & Elena Cefis & Giovanni Dosi & Angelo Secchi, 2003. "Invariances and Diversities in the Evolution of Manufacturing Industries," LEM Papers Series 2003/21, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  10. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  11. Basile, Roberto, 2001. "Export behaviour of Italian manufacturing firms over the nineties: the role of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1185-1201, October.
  12. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2003. "Plant Turnover and Productivity Growth in Canadian Manufacturing," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003193e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  13. 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.
  14. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
  15. Jensen, J Bradford & McGuckin, Robert H, 1997. "Firm Performance and Evolution: Empirical Regularities in the US Microdata," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 25-47.
  16. John Haltiwanger & C J Krizan & Lucia Foster, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons From Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 98-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  18. Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: first evidence from a matching approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 287-292, October.
  19. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2009. "Measuring and Analyzing Cross-country Differences in Firm Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 15-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. Giulio Bottazzi & Marco Grazzi, 2010. "Wage--size relation and the structure of work-force composition in Italian manufacturing firms," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 649-669.
  22. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2008. "Productivity, profitability and financial performance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 711-751, August.
  23. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  24. Sourafel Girma & David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Does Exporting Increase Productivity? A Microeconometric Analysis of Matched Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 855-866, November.
  25. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  26. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  27. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, June.
  28. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2006. "Explaining the distribution of firm growth rates," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 235-256, 06.
  29. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2001. "The determinants of export performance: A firm-level study of Italian manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(3), pages 450-472, September.
  30. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  31. Matteo Bugamelli & Luigi Infante, 2003. "Sunk Costs of Exports," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 469, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  32. Davide Castellani, 2002. "Export behavior and productivity growth: Evidence from Italian manufacturing firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(4), pages 605-628, December.
  33. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2006. "Technologies as problem-solving procedures and technologies as input--output relations: some perspectives on the theory of production," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 173-202, February.
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