Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 341: Low-productive exporters are high-quality exporters. Evidence from Germany

Joachim Wagner ()
Additional contact information
Joachim Wagner: Leuphana University Lueneburg and CESIS, Stockholm, Postal: Leuphana University Lueneburg, Institute of Economics, PO Box 2440, D-21314 Lueneburg, , Germany

Abstract: A stylized fact from the emerging literature on the micro-econometrics of international trade and a central implication of the heterogeneous firm models from the new new trade theory is that exporters are more productive than non-exporters. However, many firms from the lower end of the productivity distribution are exporters. Germany is a case in point. A recent study reports that these low-productivity exporters are not marginal exporters defined according to the share of exports in total sales, or export participation over time, or the number of goods exported, or the number of countries exported to. This paper documents that low-productive exporters are competitive because they export high-quality goods. The quality of exports is much higher among exporters from the lower end of the productivity distribution than among highly productive exporters.

Keywords: Exports; productivity; low-productive exporters; export quality

JEL-codes: F14

18 pages, February 10, 2014

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