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Journal Articles Review of World Economics Year : 2008

The U-Shaped Productivity Dynamics of French Exporters


We use data on French manufacturing firms to reveal that the productivity dynamics of new exporters is typically U-shaped. Prior to entry, firm productivity temporarily decreases, then recovers contemporaneously with entry, as the benefits from sales to foreign markets accrue. We show that the U-shaped pattern is more pronounced for intensively exporting firms and for firms operating in capital-intensive or high-technology sectors. This finding suggests that firms prepare to become exporters through prior specific investments and learning-to-export mechanisms. We then point to the limitations of studies that focus only on date of entry to exporting to discriminate between self-selection versus learning mechanisms.

Dates and versions

hal-03417076 , version 1 (05-11-2021)



Lionel Nesta, Flora Bellone, Patrick Musso, Michel Quéré. The U-Shaped Productivity Dynamics of French Exporters. Review of World Economics, 2008, 144 (4), pp.636 - 659. ⟨10.1007/s10290-008-0164-x⟩. ⟨hal-03417076⟩
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