Journal Article

Exporting and Productivity in the USA

Andrew B. Bernard and J. Bradford Jensen

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 20, issue 3, pages 343-357
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grh020
Exporting and Productivity in the USA

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  • Economic Development and Growth
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Exporting is often touted as a way to increase economic growth. This paper examines the interaction between exporting and productivity growth in US manufacturing. While exporting plants have substantially higher productivity levels, there is no evidence that exporting increases plant productivity growth rates. The higher productivity of exporters largely predates their entry into exporting. However, within the same industry, exporters do grow faster than non-exporters in terms of both shipments and employment. Exporting is associated with the reallocation of resources from less efficient to more efficient plants. In the aggregate, these reallocation effects are quite large, making up over 40 per cent of total factor productivity growth in the manufacturing sector. Half of this reallocation to more productive plants occurs within industries and the direction of the reallocation is towards exporting plants.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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