Trade Technology and Productivity - an analysis of Australian business
The participation of firms in international trade and innovation behaviour and their links with business productivity is the focus of this study.
One motivation is that existing ABS data on 'The Characteristics of Australian exporters' (5368.0.55.006) shows that a high share of exports is accounted for by a surprisingly small number of firms. In 2007-08, the less than 1% of goods exporters which had aggregate exports of $100m or more, contributed 79% by value to total goods exports while the 1% of services exporters which had aggregate exports of $100m or more and contributed 22% by value to total services exports. A new data release by the Bureau allows us to explore in more detail the reasons for the apparently limited participation in the world economy by Australian firms.
This work is significant for a number of reasons. At a strategic level, the research helps establish what types of firms might be expected to export, and it may help explain with which regions or countries firms might be expected to trade. At a policy level, the study will help understand the influence of trade liberalisation and deregulation on firm decision making and therefore on aggregate productivity growth. The research results have application to a number of policy questions also at the regional and local level, for example, the significance of programs to promotion innovation and the adoption of information technology, those designed to promote participation in exports, strategies to attract foreign investment, programs to foster gglomeration in the process of building international competitiveness and those designed to facilitate structural adjustment.
There are connections, as well, with labour market and skilling programs. There is also interest in the connections between migration programs and the export choices of firms employing migrant labour.
Applications for funding for this work are being made. A number of PhD students in the School are working on various data sets, including data from Australia, China and Vietnam.
Research outputs will be made available in this page.