Learning by Exporting: Does It Matter Where One Learns? Evidence from Colombian Manufacturing Firms
Learning-by-exporting proponents argue that exporting increases firm-level productivity by exposing producers to new technologies or through product quality upgrading. This study is based on the observation that the technological superiority and severity of product quality requirements are not the same in all export markets. If learning occurs through the acquisition of new knowledge, exporting to less developed markets should not generate as much productivity growth as exporting to advanced countries. Using firm-level data from Colombia, I demonstrate that exporting to advanced countries generates the highest productivity premium and that the ability to benefit from exporting in general and exporting to advanced markets in particular increases monotonically as one moves along the conditional productivity distribution.
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