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Learning by Exporting: Does It Matter Where One Learns?

  • Natalia Trofimenko
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    Learning-by-exporting proponents argue that exporting increases productivity by exposing producers to new technologies or through product quality upgrading. This study is based on the observation that the technological superiority and severity of product quality requirements are not the same in all export markets. If learning occurs through the acquisition of new knowledge, exporting to less developed markets should not generate as much productivity growth as exporting to advanced countries. Using plant-level data from Colombia, I demonstrate that exporting to advanced countries generates the highest productivity premium and that the ability to benefit from exporting in general and exporting to advanced markets in particular increases monotonically as one moves along the conditional productivity distribution.

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    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1262.

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    Length: 72 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1262
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    1. Jens Matthias Arnold & Katrin Hussinger, 2005. "Export Behavior and Firm Productivity in German Manufacturing: A Firm-Level Analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 219-243, July.
    2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Catherine A. Pattillo & Taye Mengistae, 2002. "Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/89, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
    5. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc J & Yeaple, Stephen R, 2003. "Export versus FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers 3741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 9639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. W. S. Chao & J. Buongiorno, 2002. "Exports and growth: a causality analysis for the pulp and paper industries based on international panel data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 1-13.
    9. Amil Petrin & Brian P. Poi & James Levinsohn, 2004. "Production function estimation in Stata using inputs to control for unobservables," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 113-123, June.
    10. Chin Hee Hahn, 2004. "Exporting and Performance of Plants: Evidence from Korean Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 10208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
    12. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    13. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2000. "Exporting and Productivity," Working Papers 00-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    14. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
    15. Amsden, Alice H., 1986. "The direction of trade -- past and present -- and the learning effects of exports to different directions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 249-274, October.
    16. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
    17. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2004. "Learning from exporting revisited in a less developed setting," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 397-416, December.
    18. Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: First evidence from a matching approach," HWWA Discussion Papers 155, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    19. Keith Head & John Ries, 1998. "Immigration and Trade Creation: Econometric Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 47-62, February.
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