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Productivity, Exporting and Financial Constraints of Chinese SMEs

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  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck

Abstract

While many studies explain the correlation between firm-level productivity and export status entirely by better firms self-selecting into exporting, a few studies find evidence of reverse causation. Especially in developing or ransition economies, exporters seem to improve performance after they start selling internationally. We provide evidence that the realization of scale conomies is one possible explanation for such a learning-by-exporting effect. Exporting enables small firms to expand output and exploit all scale economies that the production technology allows. With access to finance problems and weak contract enforcement at home, domestic expansion of SMEs is constrained by the necessity of awarding trade credit to new clients. We show that small firms with a lot of outstanding trade credit expand sales the most following export market entry. This is especially true if they operate in industries with higher scale economies or if they are located in provinces with weaker institutions. The same type of firms also enjoy the largest productivity gains immediately following export market entry.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2014. "Productivity, Exporting and Financial Constraints of Chinese SMEs," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6515, Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6515
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yan, Ho-don & Yang, Cheng-lang, 2008. "Foreign Capital Inflows and the Current Account Imbalance: Which Causality Direction?," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 23, pages 434-461.
    2. Alberola, Enrique & Erce, Aitor & Serena, José Maria, 2016. "International reserves and gross capital flows dynamics," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 151-171.
    3. Shin, Jong Kook & Subramanian, Chetan, 2016. "Monetary policy and noise traders: A welfare analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 33-45.
    4. Enrique Alberola & Aitor Erce & José Maria Serena, 2012. "International reserves and gross capital flows: dynamics during financial stress," Globalization Institute Working Papers 110, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    5. Eden, Maya, 2012. "Financial distortions and the distribution of global volatility," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5929, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Integration & Trade; Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises; Productivity; Investment; Export market entry; SMEs; Trade credit; Small firms; Export market; New exporters;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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