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Exporters in Pakistan and Firms Who Do Not Export: What’s the Big Difference?

Dr. Theresa Thompson Chaudhry, Lahore School of Economics
(Paper co-authored with Haseeb Ashraf)


There are a variety of stylized facts about exporters that have been noted in the new literature on international trade based on firm-level data. These include low levels export participation among firms, small shares of export sales in firm revenue, larger firm size and higher levels of productivity, skill, and capital intensity among exporters. In this paper, we seek to see the extent to which these stylized facts fit the experience of firms in Pakistan using two cross-sections of firm level data, that is the Census of Manufacturing Industries (CMI) 2000-01 for Punjab and the World Bank Enterprise Survey data (2006-07) for all Pakistan. We find similar levels of export market participation but very large shares of export sales in firm revenue for those who do, as compared to the U.S. sample studied by Bernard et al (2007). We also find support, like many other studies, that exporters exhibit significantly higher total factor productivity and are larger in terms of employment than non-exporters. Looking individually at the eight largest sectors comprising more than 80 percent of the CMI-Punjab, with few exceptions exporters have higher labor productivity and offer higher compensation to workers, but use more capital per worker and more imported inputs.

About the presenter:

Dr. Theresa Chaudhry is Associate Professor of Economics and a fellow of the Centre for Research in Economics and Business (CREB) at the Lahore School of Economics. She received a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1996, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2005. Her dissertation focused on the nature of inter-firm cooperation within clusters of small and medium-size enterprises in developing countries. This research included an empirical study of the contract enforcement environment in Pakistan, using data from a commissioned survey of the surgical goods industry based in Sialkot. Prior to teaching at the Lahore School, Dr. Chaudhry worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on issues of public finance and public sector governance.

Dr. Chaudhry teaches microeconomics for the BSc Economics, MPhil Economics, and PhD Economics programs, and has supervised both BSc and MPhil theses. She also serves as an editor of the Lahore Journal of Economics, a bi-annual scholarly journal cited in the JEL. Her research interests are Micro-Development, Industrial organization, Experimental and behavioral economics and New Institutional Economics. Her current on-going projects include survey-based and experimental research in Punjab, Pakistan on i) consanguineous marriage, ii) firm-level productivity, iii) rural household finance, iv) conditional cash transfers for girls’ secondary schooling.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3/27/2014 11:15:00 AM,

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