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Productivity of Catalan firms. International exposure and (product) innovation

  • Cassiman, Bruno


    (IESE Business School)

  • Golovko, Elena

    (Tilburg University)

Exporting firms are typically the more productive firms in an economy. Based on this observation, policy makers typically enact policies to stimulate exportation by domestic firms. In this chapter, we argue that firms make productivity enhancing investments and as a result the more productive firms start an export activity, which might make these firms even more productive. We find evidence of two types of productivity enhancing investments made by Catalan firms: both the fact that a firm imports some of its inputs and that the firm has innovated in the previous year seem to positively affect productivity and, hence, the decision to start exporting. We also find that there is an important difference between the effects of product innovations versus process innovations: product innovations seem to matter more for the export decision of Catalan firms while process innovations have little or no effect on this decision. Overall, we find that importing, innovating and exporting are strongly complementary activities. At the same time, firms develop these activities sequentially. Therefore, it seems that stimulating firms to become active in the international sourcing market and generate (product) innovations might be more productive policy measures than stimulating firms to enter the export market directly.

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Paper provided by IESE Business School in its series IESE Research Papers with number D/808.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 17 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0808
Contact details of provider: Postal: IESE Business School, Av Pearson 21, 08034 Barcelona, SPAIN
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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Aw, Bee Yan & Chen, Xiaomin & Roberts, Mark J., 2001. "Firm-level evidence on productivity differentials and turnover in Taiwanese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 51-86, October.
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  5. Reinhilde Veugelers & Bruno Cassiman, 2000. "Importance of international linkages for local know-how flows. Some econometric evidence from Belgium," Economics Working Papers 434, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  7. Aw, B.Y. & Batra, G., 1998. "Technology, Exports and Firm Efficiency in Taiwanese Manufacturing," Papers 2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  8. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
  9. Ulrich Doraszelski & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2007. "R&D and productivity : estimating production functions when productivity is endogenous," Economics Working Papers we078652, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  10. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-level Productivity…For Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099.
  11. Huergo, Elena & Jaumandreu, Jordi, 2004. "Firms' age, process innovation and productivity growth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 541-559, April.
  12. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rachel Griffith & Elena Huergo & Jacques Mairesse & Bettina Peters, 2006. "Innovation and Productivity Across Four European Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 483-498, Winter.
  14. Antras, Pol, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," Scholarly Articles 3196324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Basile, Roberto, 2001. "Export behaviour of Italian manufacturing firms over the nineties: the role of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1185-1201, October.
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  17. repec:crs:wpaper:9833 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Crepon, B. & Duguet, E. & Mairesse, J., 1998. "Research Investment, Innovation and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 98.15, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  19. Seev Hirsch & Ilan Bijaoui, 1985. "R&D intensity and export performance: A micro view," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 238-251, June.
  20. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
  21. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
  22. René Belderbos & Vincent Van Roy & Florence Duvivier, 2013. "International and domestic technology transfers and productivity growth: firm level evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-32, February.
  23. 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.
  24. Bee Yan Aw & Geeta Batra, 1998. "Technology, Exports And Firm Efficiency In Taiwanese Manufacturing," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 93-113.
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