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Start-up export intensity: An empirical investigation of the impact of absorptive capacity and business owner human and social capital


  • Jonas Debrulle


This study investigates the influence of business owner human and social capital on start-up export intensity. In addition, building on the knowledge-based view of the firm, we assume the relationships between owner characteristics and firm export activities to be moderated by the start-up’s absorptive capacity, which designates its ability to acquire, assimilate and exploit new information. Flemish start-ups form this study’s empirical setting. Our results indicate that start-up export intensity is (1) driven by the business owner’s formal education and start-up experience, while (2) weakened by his/her accumulated management experience. Furthermore, we find evidence that start-up absorptive capacity significantly moderates the export impact of the owner’s human capital. Finally, implications and opportunities for future research are suggested.

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  • Jonas Debrulle, 2012. "Start-up export intensity: An empirical investigation of the impact of absorptive capacity and business owner human and social capital," Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics 32, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:vivwps:32

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