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Sources of Learning-by-Exporting Effects: Does Exporting Promote Innovation?

  • Keiko ITO

    (Keiko ITO School of Economics, Senshu University)

This paper examines whether first-time exporters achieve productivity improvements through learning-by-exporting effects. The results suggest that starting exporting to North America/Europe has a strong positive effect on sales and employment growth, R&D activity, and productivity growth. On the other hand, starting exporting to Asia does not have any strong productivity enhancing effects, although it does tend to raise the growth rates of sales and employment and be associated with an increase in R&D expenditure. However, even for these variables, the positive impact of starting exporting to North America/Europe is much larger. Further analysis shows that export starters to North America/Europe are larger, more productive, more R&D intensive, and more capital intensive than export starters to Asia even before they start exporting, suggesting that the former are potentially better performers than the latter. In other words, the former have greater absorptive capacity, and this absorptive capacity itself may be a source of the larger positive learning-by-exporting effects. Moreover, export starters to North America/Europe become more innovative than export starters to Asia after starting exporting. The results obtained imply that potentially innovative non-exporters should be supported through an export promotion policy. Firms that have the potential to be sufficiently innovative to export to developed regions are likely to benefit from doing so through the positive interaction between exporting and innovation.

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Paper provided by Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in its series Working Papers with number DP-2012-06.

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Length: 51 pages.
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:era:wpaper:dp-2012-06
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  1. Rachel Griffith & Elena Huergo & Jacques Mairesse & Bettina Peters, 2006. "Innovation and Productivity across Four European Countries," NBER Working Papers 12722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kyoji Fukao & Hyeog Ug Kwon, 2004. "Why Did Japan's TFP Growth Slow Down in the Lost Decade?: An Empirical Analysis Based on Firm-Level Data of Manufacturing Firms," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d04-50, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. ITO Keiko & Sebastien LECHEVALIER, 2008. "The evolution of the productivity dispersion of firms - A reevaluation of its determinants in the case of Japan," Discussion papers 08014, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  4. Sascha O. Becker & Peter Egger, 2007. "Endogenous Product versus Process Innovation and a Firm’s Propensity to Export," CESifo Working Paper Series 1906, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Jan De Loecker & Frederic Warzynski, 2009. "Markups and firm-level export status," NBER Working Papers 15198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. WAKASUGI Ryuhei & TODO Yasuyuki & SATO Hitoshi & NISHIOKA Shuichiro & MATSUURA Toshiyuki & ITO Banri & TANAKA Ayumu, 2008. "The Internationalization of Japanese Firms: New Findings Based on Firm-Level Data," Discussion papers 08036, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  7. Cassiman, Bruno & Golovko, Elena & Martínez-Ros, Ester, 2010. "Innovation, exports and productivity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 372-376, July.
  8. TODO Yasuyuki, 2009. "Quantitative Evaluation of Determinants of Export and FDI: Firm-level evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 09019, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  9. VAN BEVEREN, Ilke & VANDENBUSSCHE, Hylke, 2009. "Product and process innovation and the decision to export : firm-level evidence for Belgium," CORE Discussion Papers 2009086, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Fukunari Kimura & Kozo Kiyota, 2006. "Exports, FDI, and Productivity: Dynamic Evidence from Japanese Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 695-719, December.
  11. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2015.
  12. Keiko Ito & Sébastien Lechevalier, 2010. "Why some firms persistently out-perform others: investigating the interactions between innovation and exporting strategies," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1997-2039, December.
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