Exporter Dynamics and Productivity Growth
Title: Exporter Dynamics and Productivity Growth
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2010/26
Using a large firm-level database containing information on export flows of French firms by destination, over the period 1995-2005, we study the impact of exporter dynamics on their future productivity growth. Our empirical strategy allows to control for reverse causality problems that arise when considering the export-productivity relationship. We first find that neither entry on the export market, nor the capacity of firms to remain exporters have a significant impact on their productivity growth. Second, we show that the dynamics of the exporting activity, i.e. post-entry export growth, has a positive impact on future productivity growth. Third, this positive impact of exporting is only observed in more dependent sectors upon external finance. We therefore provide suggestive evidence that a positive export dynamics affects productivity growth because it acts both as (i) an incentive to innovate, by increasing the expected return to innovation; (ii) a means to innovate, by relaxing liquidity constraints. Finally, by showing that only a few successful, dynamic exporters may enjoy important productivity gains through entry into the export market, our results explain why past empirical studies generally failed to find a significant effect of export participation on firms' productivity.
Subject: International Trade; Export Dynamics; Productivity Growth; Innovation; Financial Constraints; D21; F10; O30
Type of Access: openAccess