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Financial constraints and exports: evidence from Portuguese manufacturing firms

  • Armando Silva


    (Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Escola Superior de Estudos Industriais e de Gestão)

This paper analyzes the links between financial constraints and firm export behavior, at the firm level, by using data on Portuguese manufacturing enterprises. Theoretical models of Chaney (2005) and Manova (2010) suggest that credit constraints are detrimental for exports but no model explains consistently why exports could improve firms´ financial health. Previous empirical literature has not yet reached a consensus on these subjects and there is a great heterogeneity in measuring financial constraints and how to assess the causality relationships; results are also quite heterogeneous. Developing a very recent trend, we approximate credit constraints by using a financial score built on eight variables; to assess the effects of exports on the financial status of firms we apply, for the first time to these types of studies, a propensity score matching with difference in differences. This procedure is used to deal with the endogeneity problems, stemming from the fact that new exporters have most likely initial better financial health. We find that firms enjoying better financial health are more likely to become exporters and that new exporters show improvements in their financial situation. These findings have important policy implications as they suggest that public intervention to support exports is clearly justified.

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Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series FEP Working Papers with number 402.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:402
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  1. Patrick Musso & Stefano Schiavo, 2007. "The Impact of Financial Constraints on Firms Survival and Growth," Working Papers hal-00973115, HAL.
  2. De Loecker, Jan, 2010. "A Note on Detecting Learning by Exporting," CEPR Discussion Papers 8121, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
  4. Jan De Loecker, 2004. "Do Exports Generate Higher Productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 15104, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  5. Vlad Manole & Mariana Spatareanu, 2009. "Exporting, Capital Investment and Financial Constraints," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2009-005, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  6. Lionel Nesta & Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "Financial Constraints and Firm Export Behavior," Sciences Po publications 16, 2008, Sciences Po.
  7. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2015.
  8. A. Ganesh-Kumar & K. Sen & R. Vaidya, 2001. "Outward Orientation, Investment and Finance Constraints: A Study of Indian Firms," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 133-149.
  9. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  10. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  11. Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann, 2002. "The Credit Channel in Middle Income Countries," NBER Working Papers 9355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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