Participation in Export Markets and Plant Productivity in Los Angeles, 1987-1997
This paper investigates the relationship between plant productivity and export market participation in the greater Los Angeles area using unpublished plant-level data from the US Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Research Database. Two key questions are examined: (i) do plants that export learn in foreign markets and become more efficient and/or (ii) do more efficient plants self-select into export markets. Analytical results support previous claims that more productive plants tend to self-select into export markets. Little support is
found for the learning-by-exporting argument.