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Why Do Some Firms Persistently Outperform Others? An investigation of the interactions between innovation and export strategies

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  • ITO Keiko
  • LECHEVALIER Se'bastien

Abstract

Although heterogeneity in the performance of firms is a well-established stylized fact, we still lack full understanding of its origins and the reasons why it persists. Instead of assuming that performance differences are exogenous, this paper focuses on two endogenous strategies - innovation and global engagement - and interprets them as two ways to accumulate knowledge and improve firms' capabilities. We are particularly interested in analyzing interactions between these strategies and their effect on firms' performance. By using a firm-level panel dataset drawn from a Japanese large-scale administrative survey for the years 1994 - 2003, we first find that innovation and exporting strategies are characterized by complementarities, which define coherent productive models or patterns of learning. Second, we show that these different strategies lead to various performances in terms of productivity and survival. Third, by using a propensity score matching approach, we show that these differences in performance are lasting. Overall, our paper shows that the interaction of innovation and export investments is a source of permanent differences in performance among firms.

Suggested Citation

  • ITO Keiko & LECHEVALIER Se'bastien, 2010. "Why Do Some Firms Persistently Outperform Others? An investigation of the interactions between innovation and export strategies," Discussion papers 10037, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:10037
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bee Yan Aw & Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu, 2011. "R&D Investment, Exporting, and Productivity Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1312-1344, June.
    2. Keiko Ito & Sébastien Lechevalier, 2009. "The evolution of the productivity dispersion of firms: a reevaluation of its determinants in the case of Japan," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 405-429, October.
    3. Giulia Faggio & Kjell G. Salvanes & John Van Reenen, 2010. "The evolution of inequality in productivity and wages: panel data evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1919-1951, December.
    4. Kiyota, Kozo & Urata, Shujiro, 2008. "The role of multinational firms in international trade: The case of Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 338-352, August.
    5. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    6. Criscuolo, Chiara & Haskel, Jonathan E. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2010. "Global engagement and the innovation activities of firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 191-202, March.
    7. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2004. "Trade Liberalization: Export-market Participation, Productivity Growth, and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 372-392, Autumn.
    8. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    9. Kyoji Fukao & Hyeog Ug Kwon, 2006. "Why Did Japan'S Tfp Growth Slow Down In The Lost Decade? An Empirical Analysis Based On Firm-Level Data Of Manufacturing Firms," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(2), pages 195-228.
    10. Stephen Bond & Dietmar Harhoff & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Investment, R&D and Financial Constraints in Britain and Germany," NBER Chapters,in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 433-460 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Paul Geroski & Tobias Kretschmer & Chris Walters, 2009. "Corporate Productivity Growth: Champions, Leaders, And Laggards," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 1-17, January.
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    14. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 134-161, February.
    15. Roper, Stephen & Love, James H., 2002. "Innovation and export performance: evidence from the UK and German manufacturing plants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, September.
    16. Jože P. Damijan & Črt Kostevc, 2006. "Learning-by-Exporting: Continuous Productivity Improvements or Capacity Utilization Effects? Evidence from Slovenian Firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(3), pages 599-614, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cié Fatou & Ji Eun Choi, 2015. "Do firms learn by exporting or learn to export? Evidence from Senegalese manufacturing plant," WIDER Working Paper Series 057, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. AMBASHI Masahito, 2013. "Does Competition Improve Industrial Productivity? An analysis of Japanese industries on the basis of the industry-level panel data," Discussion papers 13098, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. repec:oup:jafrec:v:26:y:2017:i:1:p:52-66. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:tei:journl:v:11:y:2017:i:1:p:34-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ren, Shengce & Eisingerich, Andreas B. & Tsai, Huei-Ting, 2015. "How do marketing, research and development capabilities, and degree of internationalization synergistically affect the innovation performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? A panel data," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 642-651.
    6. Cristiano Antonelli & Francesco Crespi & Giuseppe Scellato, 2015. "Productivity growth persistence: firm strategies, size and system properties," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 129-147, June.
    7. Harirchi , Gouya & Chaminade , Cristina, 2013. "User-producer interaction and the degree of novelty of innovations: a global perspective," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/27, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.

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