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Why Do Some Firms Persistently Outperform Others? An investigation of the interactions between innovation and export strategies

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  • ITO Keiko
  • LECHEVALIER Se'bastien

Abstract

Although heterogeneity in the performance of firms is a well-established stylized fact, we still lack full understanding of its origins and the reasons why it persists. Instead of assuming that performance differences are exogenous, this paper focuses on two endogenous strategies - innovation and global engagement - and interprets them as two ways to accumulate knowledge and improve firms' capabilities. We are particularly interested in analyzing interactions between these strategies and their effect on firms' performance. By using a firm-level panel dataset drawn from a Japanese large-scale administrative survey for the years 1994 - 2003, we first find that innovation and exporting strategies are characterized by complementarities, which define coherent productive models or patterns of learning. Second, we show that these different strategies lead to various performances in terms of productivity and survival. Third, by using a propensity score matching approach, we show that these differences in performance are lasting. Overall, our paper shows that the interaction of innovation and export investments is a source of permanent differences in performance among firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 10037.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:10037

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  1. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  3. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2004. "Trade Liberalization: Export-market Participation, Productivity Growth, and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 372-392, Autumn.
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  5. Davide Castellani & Antonello Zanfei, 2007. "Internationalisation, Innovation and Productivity: How Do Firms Differ in Italy?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 156-176, 01.
  6. Stephen Bond & Dietmar Harhoff & John Van Reenen, 2003. "Investment, R&D and financial constraints in Britain and Germany," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 771, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Giulia Faggio & Kjell Salvanes & John Van Reenen, 2007. "The Evolution of Inequality in Productivity and Wages: Panel Data Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kozo Kiyota & Shujiro Urata, 2005. "The Role of Multinational Firms in International Trade: The Case of Japan," Discussion papers 05012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  9. Jože P. Damijan & Črt Kostevc & Sašo Polanec, 2010. "From Innovation to Exporting or Vice Versa?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 374-398, 03.
  10. Chiara Criscuolo & Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Global Engagement and the Innovation Activities of Firms," NBER Working Papers 11479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 Feb 2014.
  14. Keiko Ito & Sébastien Lechevalier, 2009. "The evolution of the productivity dispersion of firms: a reevaluation of its determinants in the case of Japan," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 405-429, October.
  15. WAKASUGI Ryuhei & TODO Yasuyuki & SATO Hitoshi & NISHIOKA Shuichiro & MATSUURA Toshiyuki & ITO Banri & TANAKA Ayumu, 2008. "The Internationalization of Japanese Firms: New Findings Based on Firm-Level Data," Discussion papers 08036, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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  17. Roper, Stephen & Love, James H., 2002. "Innovation and export performance: evidence from the UK and German manufacturing plants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, September.
  18. Jože P. Damijan & Črt Kostevc, 2006. "Learning-by-Exporting: Continuous Productivity Improvements or Capacity Utilization Effects? Evidence from Slovenian Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 599-614, October.
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Cited by:
  1. AMBASHI Masahito, 2013. "Does Competition Improve Industrial Productivity? An analysis of Japanese industries on the basis of the industry-level panel data," Discussion papers 13098, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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