An interesting paper. Data issues will be crucial here and it will be interesting to see how they deal with data quality issues although having a co-author from the NBSChina should help). This paper was also a working paper in 2005 so I expect some updating has been done possibly in light of referee comments.
Exporting and Firm Performance: Chinese exporters and the Asian Financial Crisis
This paper analyzes firm panel data to examine how export demand shocks associated with the 1997 Asian financial crisis affected Chinese exporters. We construct firm-specific exchange rate shocks based on the pre-crisis destinations of firms’ exports. Because the shocks were unanticipated and large in magnitude, they are an ideal instrument for identifying the impact of exporting on firm productivity and other aspects of firm performance. We find that firms whose export destinations experience greater currency depreciation have slower growth in exports and that export growth increases firm productivity as well as other measures of firm performance. Consistent with the “learning-by-exporting” hypothesis, the productivity impact of export growth is greater when firms export to more developed countries.