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Is Learning By Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence From Colombia, Mexico, And Morocco

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  • Sofronis K. Clerides
  • Saul Lach
  • James R. Tybout

Abstract

Do firms become more efficient after becoming exporters? Do exporters generate positive externalities for domestically oriented producers? In this paper we tackle these questions by analyzing the causal links between exporting and productivity using plant-level data. We look for evidence that firms' cost processes change after they break into foreign markets. We find that relatively efficient firms become exporters; however, in most industries, firms' costs are not affected by previous exporting activities. So the well-documented positive association between exporting and efficiency is explained by the self-selection of the more efficient firms into the export market. We also find some evidence of positive regional externalities. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 113 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 903-947

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:3:p:903-947

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  1. Chen, Tain-jy & Tang, De-piao, 1987. "Comparing technical efficiency between import-substitution-oriented and export-oriented foreign firms in a developing economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 277-289, August.
  2. Evenson, Robert E. & Westphal, Larry E., 1995. "Technological change and technology strategy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2209-2299 Elsevier.
  3. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Brian Aitken & Gordon H. Hanson & Ann E. Harrison, 1994. "Spillovers, Foreign Investment, and Export Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Roberts, Mark J. & Tybout, James R., 1995. "An empirical model of sunk costs and the decision to export," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1436, The World Bank.
  6. Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1995. "Trade liberalization and the dimensions of efficiency change in Mexican manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 53-78, August.
  7. Guilkey, David K. & Murphy, James L., 1993. "Estimation and testing in the random effects probit model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 301-317, October.
  8. Handoussa, Heba & Nishimizu, Mieko & Page, John Jr., 1986. "Productivity change in Egyptian public sector industries after the opening, 1973-1979," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 53-73.
  9. Haddad, Mona, 1993. "How trade liberalization affected productivity in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1096, The World Bank.
  10. Richard Baldwin, 1989. "Sunk-Cost Hysteresis," NBER Working Papers 2911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms
    by jdingel in Trade diversion on 2010-01-20 22:34:56
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