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Effects of CEOs' Characteristics on Internationalization of Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan

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  • TODO Yasuyuki
  • SATO Hitoshi

Abstract

Recent heterogeneous-firm models of international trade suggest that productivity determines whether firms engage in export and foreign direct investment. However in practice, m Abstract any productive firms are not internationalized, whereas many unproductive firms are. This situation suggests that factors other than productivity influence internationalization. This study examines a set of potential factors -personal characteristics of the chief executive officer (CEO)- using a unique panel dataset for Japanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We find that SMEs are more likely to be internationalized when the CEO is more risk-tolerant, forward-looking, and internationally experienced. These factors show significant statistical relationships with SMEs' decisions to internationalize, perhaps suggesting why productive firms might not internationalize. In addition, we find that productivity has no significant relationship with the decision of exiting international markets probably because initial costs of internationalization become sunk, whereas SMEs with internationally experienced CEOs show strongly less likelihood of exit. These empirical results are consistent with theoretical predictions of our model that incorporates the uncertainty of foreign markets into the trade theory with firm heterogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • TODO Yasuyuki & SATO Hitoshi, 2011. "Effects of CEOs' Characteristics on Internationalization of Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan," Discussion papers 11026, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:11026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yasuyuki Todo & Tomohiko Inui & Yuan Yuan, 2014. "Effects of Privatization on Exporting Decisions: Firm-level Evidence from Chinese State-owned Enterprises," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 56(4), pages 536-555, December.
    2. KWON Hyeog Ug, 2012. "Offshoring of Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises (Japanese)," Discussion Papers (Japanese) 12004, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. ITO Tadashi & NAKAMURA Ryohei, 2019. "CEOs' Multicultural Experience, Firm Networks and Performance: Evidence from Firm-to-firm Transaction Data in Japan," Discussion papers 19037, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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