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Productivity, Exporting and the Learning-by-Exporting Hypothesis: Direct Evidence from UK Firms

  • Gustavo Crespi
  • Chiara Criscuolo
  • Jonathan Haskel

Case study evidence suggests that exporting firms learn from their clients. But econometric evidence, mostly using exporting and TFP growth, is mixed. We use a UK panel data set with firm-level information on exporting and productivity. Our innovation is that we also have direct data on the sources of learning (in this case about new technologies). Controlling for fixed effects we have two main findings. First, we find firms who exported in the past are more likely to then report that they learnt from buyers (relative to learning from other sources). Second, firms who had learned from buyers (more than they learnt from other sources) in the past are more likely to then have productivity growth. This suggests some support for the learning-by-exporting hypothesis.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0726.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0726
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  1. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Exporting and Productivity in the United Kingdom," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 358-371, Autumn.
  5. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  6. Aoife Hanley, 2004. "Exports, Linkages and Innovation," Occasional Papers 8, Industrial Economics Division.
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