Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 413–444 | Cite as

Export and Firm Performance: Evidence on Productivity and Profitability of Italian Companies

  • Marco Grazzi


Empirical research in international trade has shown that exporting firms display higher productivity than their non-exporting competitors. This paper focuses on the relation between export and profitability. Our evidence on Italian exporting firms shows that exporting activity is not systematically associated to higher firm’s profitability. This is shown both by means of non-parametric methods and, with an approach that is more standard within the empirical trade literature, by regression techniques that try to identify an “export premium”.


trade export premium systematic and occasional exporters productivity profitability international competition 

JEL Classification

F1 D2 L6 



The author gratefully acknowledges helpful comments and discussions with Giovanni Dosi, Chiara Tomasi and thanks two anonymous referees. The statistical exercises presented in the paper would not have been possible without the valuable help of the Italian Statistical Office (ISTAT) and in particular of Roberto Monducci and Alessandro Zeli. The research leading to these results has received funding from MIUR, PROT. 2007HA3S72_003, PRIN 2007. The usual disclaimers apply.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEM-Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPisaItaly

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