Get access

Intra-firm trade, exporting, importing, and firm performance


  • Stefanie Haller is also affiliated with Trinity College Dublin. This work makes use of data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The possibility for controlled access to the confidential micro data set on the premises of the CSO is provided for in the Statistics Act 1993. The use of CSO data in this work does not imply the endorsement of the CSO in relation to the interpretation or analysis of the data. This work uses a research data set that may not exactly reproduce statistical aggregates published by the CSO. I thank Kevin Phelan of the CSO for support with the data and the clearing of files. I am grateful for financial support for this research from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. I thank seminar participants at the Economic and Social Research Institute, the 3rd ISGEP workshop in Dublin, ETSG Rome, the University of Stirling, the DIME-ISGEP workshop in Nice and CAED London, as well as two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are my own responsibility. Email:


Abstract This paper examines firm heterogeneity in terms of size, wages, capital intensity, and productivity between domestic and foreign-owned firms that engage in intra-firm trade, firms that export and import, firms that import only, and firms that export only. As previously documented, heterogeneity between different groups of trading firms is substantial. Taking into account intra-firm trade in addition to exporting and importing yields new insights into the productivity advantage previously established for exporting firms. The results presented here show that this premium accrues only to exporters that also import and to exporters that also engage in intra-firm trade, but not to firms that export only. Using simultaneous quantile regressions, the paper illustrates that heterogeneity within different groups of trading firm is equally large. Some of this within-group heterogeneity can be attributed to differences in trading partners. 


Ce texte examine l’hétérogénéité en termes de taille, salaires, intensité capitalistique, et de productivité (propriété domestique vs propriétéétrangère) des firmes qui font du commerce intra-firme, qui importent et exportent, qui importent seulement, et qui exportent seulement. Comme on l’a montré antérieurement, l’hétérogénéité entre ces groupes de firmes commerçantes est substantielle. Prendre en compte le commerce intra-firme en plus de l’exportation et de l’importation jette une lumière nouvelle sur l’avantage de productivité qui a déjàétéétablie pour les firmes exportatrices : les résultats présentés dans ce texte montrent que cette prime de productivité n’existe que pour les exportateurs qui importent aussi et pour les exportateurs qui aussi font du commerce intra-firme, mais non pas pour les firmes qui exportent seulement. A l’aide de régressions simultanées par quantiles, le texte montre que l’hétérogénéitéà l’intérieur des différents groupes de firmes commerçantes est également grande. Une portion de cette hétérogénéité intra-groupe peut être attribuable à des différences dans les partenaires commerciaux.