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Export experience of managers and the internationalization of firms

  • Sala, Davide


    (Department of Business and Economics)

  • Yalcin, Erdal


    (IFO Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research)

As the firm gravitates to the core analysis of international trade models, the possibilities to learn from the theory of the multinational enterprise developed in international business studies increase. The managerial resources and capabilities that are so emphasized in this theory for export initiation have largely been neglected in the empirical studies of international trade. Probably not because they are unimportant, but rather because of the challenge to identify and measure them. We exploit Danish employer-employee matched data to overcome this barrier and analyze the impact of managers’ international experience together with other managerial characteristics on the likelihood that the firm starts exporting. We find that productivity and fixed costs associated to exporting are not the sole determinants of the selection of firms into international markets, but “managerial inputs” are as important. Our data allows us to identify managers’ export experience based on the CEOs’ historical career as documented in official registry statistics. This puts our study apart from earlier survey based studies which rely on self-assessments.

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Paper provided by Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark in its series Discussion Papers of Business and Economics with number 18/2012.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 06 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2012_018
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Phone: 65 50 32 33
Fax: 65 50 32 37
Web page:

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  1. Giordano Mion & Luca David Opromolla, 2011. "Managers’ Mobility, Trade Status, and Wages," Working Papers w201104, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  2. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  3. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  4. Sebastian Krautheim, 2007. "Gravity and Information: Heterogeneous Firms, Exporter Networks and the 'Distance Puzzle'," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/51, European University Institute.
  5. Li, Jing & Rugman, Alan M., 2007. "Real options and the theory of foreign direct investment," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 687-712, December.
  6. Bell, Linda & Smith, Nina & Smith, Valdemar & Verner, Mette, 2008. "Gender differences in promotion into top-management jobs," Working Papers 08-21, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  7. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2005. "Modeling and Measuring Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1026-1053, October.
  8. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  9. Giuseppe Bertola, 2010. "Options, Inaction, And Uncertainty," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(s1), pages 254-271, 07.
  10. Davide Sala & Philipp J. H. Schröder & Erdal Yalcin, 2010. "Market Access Through Bound Tariffs," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(s1), pages 272-289, 07.
  11. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  12. Mike W Peng & Anne S York, 2001. "Behind Intermediary Performance in Export Trade: Transactions, Agents, and Resources," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 32(2), pages 327-346, June.
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