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Innovation, productivity and export. Evidence from Italy

  • R. Antonietti
  • G. Cainelli

Recent developments in the new international trade theory stressed the relationship between firm heterogeneity and internationalization performance. The key prediction of these models is that firms with different levels of productivity - the main source of firm heterogeneity - will generally engage in different modes of internationalization depending on the level of sunk costs incurred in acquiring information on foreign markets, establishing distribution channels, and so on. However, in these theoretical models the sources of productivity are generally unexplained, considering firm heterogeneity as exogenous. A few papers try to open the 'black box' of firm heterogeneity and to show that internationalized firms are generally more innovative, use more knowledge-intensive workers, and are characterized by superior organizational and managerial practices. Using a large sample of over 3000 Italian manufacturing firms for the period 2001-2003, we contribute to this debate employing, and extending the basic Crépon, Duguet and Mairesse (CDM) model. We estimate a five-equation model which identifies the links (correlations) between innovation investment, innovation output, firm productivity and export performance.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers Prin with number 014.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bol:prinwp:014
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  1. Loof, Hans & Heshmati, Almas, 2002. "Knowledge capital and performance heterogeneity: : A firm-level innovation study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 61-85, March.
  2. Bruno Crépon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation and Productivity : An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Working Papers 98-33, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. Alfredo Minerva & Lorenzo Casaburi & Valeria Gattai, 2008. "Firms’ International Status and Heterogeneity in Performance: Evidence From Italy," Working Papers 2008.3, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Lööf, Hans & Heshmati, Almas, 2001. "On the Relationship between Innovation and Performance: A sensitivity Analysis," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0446, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 01 Oct 2001.
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