IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/jafrec/v26y2017i1p1-25..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Exporting and Productivity: Learning from Vietnam

Author

Listed:
  • Carol Newman
  • John Rand
  • Finn Tarp
  • Nguyen Thi Tue Anh

Abstract

For Africa to industrialise and develop, it must learn from successful cases of structural transformation. Just two decades ago, Vietnam had a level of per capita income and structural characteristics similar to many African economies. In the meantime, Vietnam has with great success taken a very different policy stance than typical in Africa. This is especially so in promoting export-oriented industry. If learning by exporting is a key driver of progress, then a fundamental reason for Africa's lack of transformation is likely to be the low policy priority given to export promotion in the past. To enlarge the body of empirical evidence, we use an extensive 2005–2012 firm-level panel data set from Vietnam and separate out productivity effects of exporting due to self-selection. This allows us to conclude that firms actually learn by exporting. We also examine how this learning takes place. Our findings suggest that productivity gains are associated with moving to larger scale for foreign-owned firms with little evidence of subsequent learning on export markets. We find strong evidence to suggest that private domestic firms learn and accumulate knowledge from export markets with learning attributed in some part to within-firm innovations, in particular research and development. These mechanisms are highly relevant to African countries where market size, innovation and research are seriously constrained.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol Newman & John Rand & Finn Tarp & Nguyen Thi Tue Anh, 2017. "Exporting and Productivity: Learning from Vietnam," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 26(1), pages 1-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:26:y:2017:i:1:p:1-25.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jae/ejw021
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bee Yan Aw & Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu, 2011. "R&D Investment, Exporting, and Productivity Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1312-1344, June.
    2. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    3. Albert Zeufack, 2001. "Export Performance in Africa and Asia's Manufacturing: Evidence from Firm‐level Data," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 10(3), pages 258-281.
    4. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
    5. Bee Yan Aw & Mark J. Roberts & Tor Winston, 2007. "Export Market Participation, Investments in R&D and Worker Training, and the Evolution of Firm Productivity," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 83-104, January.
    6. Channing Arndt & Andres Garcia & Finn Tarp & James Thurlow, 2012. "Poverty Reduction and Economic Structure: Comparative Path Analysis for Mozambique and Vietnam," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(4), pages 742-763, December.
    7. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    8. Arne Bigsten & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2009. "Firm Productivity and Exports: Evidence from Ethiopian Manufacturing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1594-1614.
    9. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-level Productivity…For Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099.
    10. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    11. Abbott, Philip & Bentzen, Jeanet & Tarp, Finn, 2009. "Trade and Development: Lessons from Vietnam's Past Trade Agreements," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 341-353, February.
    12. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    13. Amit Khandelwal & Adam Osman & David Atkin, 2014. "Exports and Firm Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," 2014 Meeting Papers 135, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. David Atkin & Amit K. Khandelwal & Adam Osman, 2014. "Exporting and Firm Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," NBER Working Papers 20690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Wagner, Rodrigo & Zahler, Andrés, 2015. "New exports from emerging markets: Do followers benefit from pioneers?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 203-223.
    16. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
    17. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
    18. Philip Abbott & Finn Tarp, 2012. "Globalization Crises, Trade And Development In Vietnam," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(01), pages 1-23.
    19. Channing Arndt & Henning Tarp Jensen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Stabilization and structural adjustment in Mozambique: an appraisal," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 299-323, April.
    20. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
    21. John Page, 2012. "Can Africa Industrialise?-super- †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(suppl_2), pages -124, January.
    22. Neil Rankin & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2006. "Exporting from Manufacturing Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(4), pages 671-687, December.
    23. Lorenzo Caliendo & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2012. "The Impact of Trade on Organization and Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1393-1467.
    24. Alvaro Garcia-Marin & Nico Voigtländer, 2019. "Exporting and Plant-Level Efficiency Gains: It's in the Measure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1777-1825.
    25. Sourafel Girma & Avid Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Does Exporting Increase Productivity? A Microeconometric Analysis of Matched Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 855-866, November.
    26. Markussen, Thomas & Tarp, Finn & Van Den Broeck, Katleen, 2011. "The Forgotten Property Rights: Evidence on Land Use Rights in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 839-850, May.
    27. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
    28. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2004. "Learning from exporting revisited in a less developed setting," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 397-416, December.
    29. Brian, McCaig, 2011. "Exporting out of poverty: Provincial poverty in Vietnam and U.S. market access," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 102-113, September.
    30. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    31. Marcel Fafchamps & Said El Hamine & Albert Zeufack, 2008. "Learning to Export: Evidence from Moroccan Manufacturing †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(2), pages 305-355, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Le, Manh-Duc & Pieri, Fabio & Zaninotto, Enrico, 2019. "From central planning towards a market economy: The role of ownership and competition in Vietnamese firms’ productivity," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 693-716.
    2. Finn Tarp, 2018. "Vietnam: The dragon that rose from the ashes," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-126, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Finn Tarp, 2018. "Vietnam: The dragon that rose from the ashes," WIDER Working Paper Series 126, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    learning by exporting; self-selection; productivity; Vietnam; firm ownership; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:26:y:2017:i:1:p:1-25.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/csaoxuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.