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Are the Benefits of Export Support Durable? Evidence from Tunisia

  • Olivier Cadot
  • Ana M. Fernandes
  • Julien Gourdon
  • Aaditya Mattoo

This paper evaluates the effects of the FAMEX export promotion program in Tunisia on the performance of beneficiary firms. While much of the literature assesses only the short term impact of such programs, we consider also the longer term impact. Propensity-score matching difference-in-difference and weighted least squares estimates suggest that beneficiaries initially see faster export growth and greater diversification across destination markets and products. However, three years after the intervention, neither the growth rates nor the export levels of beneficiaries are significantly different from those of non-beneficiary firms. Exports of beneficiaries remain more diversified, but the diversification does not translate into lower volatility of exports. There is also no evidence that the program produced spillover benefits for non-beneficiary firms. Taken together, these results suggest that export promotion programs may in some cases induce firms to diversify without creating other durable benefits.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2012-30.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2012-30
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