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The productivity and export spillovers of the internationalisation behaviour of Belgian firms

  • Michel Dumont

    (Federal Planning Bureau
    University of Antwerp (UA))

  • Bruno Merlevede


  • Christophe Piette

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Glenn Rayp

    (UGent, Sherppa)

This paper analyses to what extent the decision to start exporting may be subject to spillovers of the internationalisation behaviour of other (foreign and domestic) firms. We distinguish between two possible channels: effects on productivity and effects on the perceived level of sunk costs of exporting. For both channels, we consider geographical and activity or industry-based linkages between firms. For a sample Belgian firms we find evidence of significant spillovers on productivity as well as productivity-independent spillovers on the decision to start exporting. Spillovers seem more substantial in the geographical dimension than in terms of competitor, client or supplier links, except for the impact of multinationals on the productivity of domestic firms.

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Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 201.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201010-201
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  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.
  2. 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.
  3. Pamina Koenig & Florian Mayneris & Sandra Poncet, 2009. "Local export spillovers in France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566142, HAL.
  4. Katayama, Hajime & Lu, Shihua & Tybout, James R., 2009. "Firm-level productivity studies: Illusions and a solution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 403-413, May.
  5. Ronald Findlay, 1978. "Relative Backwardness, Direct Foreign Investment, and the Transfer of Technology: A Simple Dynamic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 1-16.
  6. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2004. "Robustness of Productivity Estimates," NBER Working Papers 10303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  8. 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.
  9. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Tretheway, Michael W, 1983. "Productivity Performance of U.S. Trunk and Local Service Airlines in the Era of Deregulation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(3), pages 312-24, July.
  10. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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