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

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  • Natalia Trofimenko

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Trofimenko, 2008. "Learning by Exporting: Does It Matter Where One Learns? Evidence from Colombian Manufacturing Firms," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 871-894.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:56:y:2008:p:871-894
    DOI: 10.1086/588156
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Omar Arias & Walter Sosa-Escudero & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Individual heterogeneity in the returns to schooling: instrumental variables quantile regression using twins data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 7-40.
    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. Taye Mengistae & Catherine Pattillo, 2004. "Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(2), pages 1-6.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. DU, Julan & LU, Yi & TAO, Zhigang & YU, Linhui, 2012. "Do domestic and foreign exporters differ in learning by exporting? Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 296-315.
    2. Naqeeb Ur Rehman, 2017. "Self-selection and learning-by-exporting hypotheses: micro-level evidence," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 7(1), pages 133-160, April.
    3. Fabling, Richard & Sanderson, Lynda, 2013. "Exporting and firm performance: Market entry, investment and expansion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 422-431.
    4. Juhasz, Peter & Reszegi, Laszlo, 2017. "Paralel And Multilayer Economic Dualities: An Example From Hungary," UTMS Journal of Economics, University of Tourism and Management, Skopje, Macedonia, vol. 8(1), pages 1-10.
    5. Juan Barboni & Nicolas Ferrari & Hanna Melgarejo & Adriana Peluffo, 2012. "Exports and Productivity: Does Destination Matter?," Revista de Economía y Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas, vol. 0(1), pages 25-58, January.
    6. David Powell & Joachim Wagner, 2014. "The exporter productivity premium along the productivity distribution: evidence from quantile regression with nonadditive firm fixed effects," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(4), pages 763-785, November.

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