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INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND FIRM PRODUCTIVITY WITHIN THE ITALIAN MANUFACTURING SECTOR: Self-Selection or Learning-by-Exporting?

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  • Michele Imbruno

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Abstract

The ongoing process of international economic integration has induced several academic researchers and policy makers to deepen increasingly issues about the relationship between international trade and economic growth. More in particular, the attention is increasingly focusing on the link between exporting and firm performance, acknowledging the extreme relevance of 'firm heterogeneity'. This paper investigates empirically the exporting-productivity linkage in the Italian manufacturing sector, following a brief overview of recent literature. By using firm-level panel data for the years 2000 and 2003, we find that exporters are more productive than non-exporters and this productivity gap could be due to the self-selection mechanism – solely the high-performance firms are able to serve foreign markets – rather than post-entry effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Imbruno, 2008. "INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND FIRM PRODUCTIVITY WITHIN THE ITALIAN MANUFACTURING SECTOR: Self-Selection or Learning-by-Exporting?," Quaderni DSEMS 21-2008, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Matematiche e Statistiche, Universita' di Foggia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ufg:qdsems:21-2008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    3. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
    4. Piergiuseppe Morone & Carmelo Petraglia & Giuseppina Testa, 2007. "Research, Knowledge Spillovers and Innovation," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0713, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 31-66.
    6. David Greenaway & Zhihong Yu, 2004. "Firm-level interactions between exporting and productivity: Industry-specific evidence," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 140(3), pages 376-392, September.
    7. Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Self-Selection and Post-Entry Effects of Exports: Evidence from Italian Manufacturing Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 144(4), pages 660-694, December.
    8. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
    9. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Trade costs, firms and productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 917-937, July.
    10. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    11. Roberto Alvarez & Ricardo López, 2005. "Exporting and performance: evidence from Chilean plants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1384-1400, November.
    12. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    13. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 134-161, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Valeria Gattai, 2015. "Internationalisation and performance at the firm-level: what we learn from Italy," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(4), pages 475-509, December.
    3. Valeria Gattai, 2015. "Foreign exposure and heterogeneous performance of Italian firms: A survey of the empirical literature (1992-2014)," Working Papers 300, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2015.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade; Productivity; Heterogeneous firms; Self-selection; Learning-byexporting.;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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