Plants and productivity in international trade

Andrew B. Bernard, Jonathan Eaton, J. Bradford Jensen, Samuel Kortum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1339 Scopus citations


We reconcile trade theory with plant-level export behavior, extending the Ricardian model to accommodate many countries, geographic barriers, and imperfect competition. Our model captures qualitatively basic facts about U.S. plants: (i) productivity dispersion, (ii) higher productivity among exporters, (iii) the small fraction who export, (iv) the small fraction earned from exports among exporting plants, and (v) the size advantage of exporters. Fitting the model to bilateral trade among the United States and 46 major trade partners, we examine the impact of globalization and dollar appreciation on productivity, plant entry and exit, and labor turnover in U.S. manufacturing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1268-1290
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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