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Learning-by-exporting in Korean Manufacturing: A Plant-level Analysis


  • Chin Hee Hahn
  • Chang Gyun Park


The paper analyzes whether firms that start exporting become more productive utilizing recently developed sample matching procedures to control the problems from self-selection into the export market. We use plant level panel data on Korean manufacturing sector from 1990 to 1998. We find clear and robust empirical evidence in favor of the learning-by-exporting effect; total factor productivity differentials between exporters and their domestic counterparts arises and widens during several years after export market entry. We also find that the effect is more pronounced for firms that have higher skill-intensity, higher share of exports in production, and are small in size. Overall, the evidence suggests that exporting is one important channel through which domestic firms acquire accesses to advanced knowledge and better technology. Also, the stronger learning-by-doing effect for firms with higher skill-intensity seems to support the view that gabsorptive capacity h matters to receive knowledge spillovers from exporting activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Chin Hee Hahn & Chang Gyun Park, 2009. "Learning-by-exporting in Korean Manufacturing: A Plant-level Analysis," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-096, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd09-096

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Good, D. & Nadiri, M.I. & Sickles, R., 1996. "Index Number and Factor Demand Approaches to the Estimarion of Productivity," Working Papers 96-34, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Kyunam & Kim, Yeonbae, 2015. "Role of policy in innovation and international trade of renewable energy technology: Empirical study of solar PV and wind power technology," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 717-727.
    2. DU, Julan & LU, Yi & TAO, Zhigang & YU, Linhui, 2012. "Do domestic and foreign exporters differ in learning by exporting? Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 296-315.
    3. Schmeiser, Katherine N., 2012. "Learning to export: Export growth and the destination decision of firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 89-97.

    More about this item


    Learning-by-exporting; Productivity; Propensity score matching;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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