By using firm-level data on the Japanese manufacturing industry, we examine and compare the characteristics of internationalized Japanese firms, namely firms that engage in exports and/or foreign direct investment (FDI), with those from selected European countries. We find that the productivity of internationalized firms is higher than that of domestic firms, thus confirming the findings of previous studies on Japan and other countries. In addition, we show that the productivity differences between domestic firms, exporters, and FDI firms are substantially smaller in Japan than they are in European countries. This finding suggests that productivity differences alone cannot determine the export or FDI behavior of Japanese firms.
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