Understanding Chinese exporting firms: microeconomic evidence

Dahai Fu

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This dissertation aims to offer new insights into the understanding of the exporting behaviour of heterogeneous firms in China. It consists of four core studies about export-related topics at the firm level. The first study is an investigation of how agglomeration of exporters as a key external force affects export participation and export intensity of firms while controlling for firm heterogeneity. The results show the presence of export spillover effects which have an inverted-U shape relationship with the export performance of firms. It is also found that export spillovers only benefit the firms within the same industry located in the same region. The second core chapter is a survival analysis of export durations after firms’ initial attempt of exporting. It is found that Chinese firms faced high risk of ceasing to export in their starting years. However, as expected, firms that are larger, more productive, and more export-intensive or funded by foreign investors are more likely to survive longer in the export market. The third study is an analysis of China’s high-tech exports, in which the role of innovation is addressed. It is shown that foreign-invested firms dominate the country’s high-tech exports which do not rely on indigenous innovation activities. This confirms the prior finding that the success of Chinese high-tech exports was attributed to the processing trade rather than the R&D efforts and hence technological progress. The fourth study focuses on the wage premium in the exporting sector. It is found that an export wage premium is not a prevailing phenomenon in China. It depends on a firm’s ownership, export-orientation and location. Overall, the findings from this dissertation not only enhance our understanding of the export behaviour of Chinese manufacturing firms but also provide some useful policy implications for both the business community and policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012


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