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R&D and exporting: A comparison of British and Irish firms

  • Sourafel Girma
  • Holger Görg
  • Aoife Hanley

This paper investigates the two way relationship between R&D and export activity. In particular, we concern ourselves with the question whether R&D stimulates exports and, perhaps more importantly, whether export activity leads to increasing innovative activity in terms of R&D (learning by exporting). We use two unique firm level databases for Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland and compare the results for these two countries. We find that previous exporting experience enhances the innovative capability of Irish firms. Conversely, no strong learning-by-exporting effects are found for British firms. Arguably the differences between Ireland and Britain are attributable to different, cross-country exporting patterns where Irish firms have a greater interface with OECD markets.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 07/18.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:07/18
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  1. Alwyn Young, 1991. "Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Technology and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1134, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Hobday, Mike, 1995. "East Asian latecomer firms: Learning the technology of electronics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 1171-1193, July.
  4. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence fro Firm Level Data," International Trade 0504005, EconWPA.
  5. Mark Cassidy & Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2005. "Knowledge Accumulation, And Productivity: Evidence From Plant-Level Data For Ireland," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(3), pages 344-358, 07.
  6. Stefan Lachenmaier & Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "Does Innovation Cause Exports? Evidence from Exogenous Innovation Impulses and Obstacles," CESifo Working Paper Series 1178, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Frances Ruane & Ali Ugur, 2002. "Foreign Direct Investment And Productivity Spillovers In The Irish Manufacturing Industry: Evidence From Firm Level Panel Data," Trinity Economics Papers 20026, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  8. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
  9. Lachenmaier, Stefan & Wößmann, Ludger, 2006. "Does innovation cause exports? Evidence from exogenous innovation impulses and obstacles using German micro data," Munich Reprints in Economics 19482, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger & Pisu, Mauro, 2008. "Exporting, linkages and productivity spillovers from foreign direct investment," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 4265, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  11. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  12. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2003. "Export-market participation and productivity performance in Canadian manufacturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 634-657, August.
  13. Greenhalgh, Christine Anne & Taylor, Paul, 1990. "Innovation and Export Volumes and Prices: A Disaggregated Study," CEPR Discussion Papers 487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Wakelin, Katharine, 1998. "Innovation and export behaviour at the firm level," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 829-841, April.
  15. Joachim Wagner, 2006. "International Firm Activities and Innovation: Evidence from Knowledge Production Functions for German Firms," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2006-15, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  16. Sourafel Girma & Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2003. "Exports, International Investment, and Plant Performance: Evidence from a Non-Parametric Test," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 379, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  17. MacGarvie, Megan, 2005. "The determinants of international knowledge diffusion as measured by patent citations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 121-126, April.
  18. Salvador Barrios & Holger Goerg & Eric Strobl, 2003. "Explaining Firms' Export Behaviour: R&D, Spillovers and the Destination Market," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(4), pages 475-496, 09.
  19. Ruane, Frances & Sutherland, Julie, 2005. "Export Performance and Destination Characteristics of Irish Manufacturing Industry," Economics Working Papers wp05-03, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  20. Greenhalgh, Christine, 1990. "Innovation and Trade Performance in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(400), pages 105-18, Supplemen.
  21. Young, Alwyn, 1991. "Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 369-405, May.
  22. Robert M. Salomon & J. Myles Shaver, 2005. "Learning by Exporting: New Insights from Examining Firm Innovation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 431-460, 06.
  23. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2001. "The determinants of export performance: A firm-level study of Italian manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(3), pages 450-472, September.
  24. Sourafel Girma & David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Does Exporting Increase Productivity? A Microeconometric Analysis of Matched Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 855-866, November.
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