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Learning by Exporting: Does It Matter Where One Learns? Evidence from Colombian Manufacturing Firms

  • Natalia Trofimenko
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    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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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/588156
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2008)
    Issue (Month): ()
    Pages: 871-894

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:56:y:2008:p:871-894
    DOI: 10.1086/588156
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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    1. 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.
    2. Omar Arias & Kevin F. Hallock & Walter Sosa Escudero, 1999. "Individual Heterogeneity in the Returns to Schooling: Instrumental Variables Quantile Regression using Twins Data," Department of Economics, Working Papers 016, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    3. 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.
    4. Fernandes, Ana M. & Isgut, Alberto E., 2005. "Learning-by-doing, learning-by-exporting, and productivity : evidence from Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3544, The World Bank.
    5. 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.
    6. Catherine A Pattillo & Taye Mengistae, 2002. "Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/89, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: first evidence from a matching approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 287-292, October.
    8. Jan De Loecker, 2004. "Do Exports Generate Higher Productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 15104, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    9. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
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