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Why Learning by Exporting May Not Be As Common As You Think

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  • Tomasz Serwach

    (University of Lodz, Poland)

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    Abstract

    International trade economists almost unambiguously claim that engagement in export enables a firm to increase its productivity. They are convinced that there is a two-way relationship between productivity and exports – not only the most productive firms self-select into export markets but also exporters improve their technology due to international expansion. In spite of this optimistic view empirical studies provide only weak (if any) evidence on learning by exporting. This discrepancy between theoretical and empirical findings is usually explained by methodological problems econometricians encounter during their research. Although it may be right, there are also some theoretical reasons why one may think that learning by exporting is a wrong or highly limited hypothesis. The paper presents rationale for learning by exporting and describes drawbacks of this hypothesis aiming at highlighting limitations of firm’s ability or propensity to learn from foreign markets. Mechanisms both blocking and limiting this learning are covered.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This chapter was published in: Tomasz Serwach , , pages 255-266, 2012.

    This item is provided by International School for Social and Business Studies, Celje, Slovenia in its series Knowledge and Learning: Global Empowerment; Proceedings of the Management, Knowledge and Learning International Conference 2012 with number 255-266.

    Handle: RePEc:isv:mklp12:255-266

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    Web page: http://www.issbs.si

    Related research

    Keywords: learning by exporting; trade and heterogeneous firms;

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