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Trade and technology: New evidence on the productivity sorting of firms

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  • Bertschek, Irene
  • Hogrefe, Jan
  • Rasel, Fabienne

Abstract

Using a unique German firm-level data set, we provide empirical evidence for a productivity sorting along two dimensions: international activity and technology choice. We consider domestic and exporting firms and measure technology choice by firms' actual use of advanced information technology (IT). For manufacturing firms, the observed sorting pattern is consistent with recent theories of heterogeneous firms and technology choice: Only the relatively more productive ones among internationally active firms are also highly technology intensive. For service sector firms we find similar evidence, yet the results seem to depend on the trade cost of certain services. In general, recent theoretical advances regarding trade and technology adoption thus seem to better fit the manufacturing sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertschek, Irene & Hogrefe, Jan & Rasel, Fabienne, 2013. "Trade and technology: New evidence on the productivity sorting of firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-042, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13042
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabienne Rasel, 2017. "ICT and global sourcing – evidence for German manufacturing and service firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(7), pages 634-660, October.
    2. Stefano Costa & Federico Sallusti & Claudio Vicarelli & Davide Zurlo, 2019. "Tech on the ROC: Export Threshold and Technology Adoption Interacted," LEM Papers Series 2019/38, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Lüdering, Jochen, 2014. "The measurement of internet availability and quality in the context of the discussion on digital divide," Discussion Papers 65, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).
    4. Rasel, Fabienne, 2013. "Produktivitätsverteilung angesichts von Auslandsaktivität und Technologieintensität," ZEW Wachstums- und Konjunkturanalysen, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, vol. 16(4), pages 10-11.
    5. Fabienne Rasel, 2016. "Combining Information Technology and Decentralized Workplace Organization: SMEs versus Larger Firms," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 199-241, July.
    6. Stiebale, Joel & Südekum, Jens & Woessner, Nicole, 2020. "Robots and the rise of European superstar firms," DICE Discussion Papers 347, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    7. Capuano, Stella & Hauptmann, Andreas & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2020. "Trade and unions: Does size matter?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 66-75.
    8. Rasel, Fabienne, 2014. "Combining technology and work organization: An analysis of complementarity between IT and decentralization across firms of different size," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-071, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    9. Jens Suedekum & Nicole Woessner, 2019. "Robots & the Rise of European Superstar Firms," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 118, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    exports; productivity; sorting; information technology; firm-level data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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