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Learning from exporting: The moderating effect of technological capabilities

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  • García, Francisco
  • Avella, Lucía
  • Fernández, Esteban
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    Abstract

    There is evidence that exporters are more productive than non-exporters. Scholars argue that exporters may have access to knowledge spillovers in foreign markets and use this knowledge to become more efficient. However, we know little about whether learning from exporting is affected by firms’ heterogeneous resource endowments and, particularly, about the specific firm characteristics that matter the most in this respect. Utilizing a sample of 1534 Spanish manufacturing firms from 1990 to 2002, we empirically analyze whether a firm's technological capabilities (proxied by its relative R&D expenditures) affect its ability to learn from the interaction with foreign agents. We find that firm productivity increases after exporting for all firms. However, ex post productivity improvements are larger for the more technologically advanced firms than they are for their less technologically advanced counterparts. Our results show that some firms stand to benefit more from exporting than others and hint at the importance of absorptive capacity for knowledge acquisition overseas.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1099-1111

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:21:y:2012:i:6:p:1099-1111

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    Related research

    Keywords: Learning from exporting; Technological capabilities; Absorptive capacity; Productivity; Exports;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Kiss, János, 2014. "Az innováció hatása a vállalati teljesítményre és versenyképességre
      [The impact of innovation activities on firms performance and competitiveness]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 299-314.
    2. Sánchez, Patricio & Gallego, Elena & Rivero, Dolores & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2014. "El impacto de la internacionalización sobre las empresas: Evidencia empírica para el caso español
      [The impact of internationalization on firms: Empirical evidence for the Spanish case]
      ," MPRA Paper 54602, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Yang, Yong & Mallick, Sushanta, 2014. "Explaining cross-country differences in exporting performance: The role of country-level macroeconomic environment," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 246-259.

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