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New Exports from Emerging Markets:Do Followers Beneit from Pioneers ?

Listed author(s):
  • Rodrigo Wagner

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Harvard University)

  • Andrés Zahler

    ()

    (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales)

We study the micro dynamics of new exports from a country. The modern international trade workhorse models (e.g. Melitz, 2003) assume heterogeneous productivity and, implicitly, predict that the ex-post largest exporters in a new product would be the pioneers, since they can pay back exploration costs. However, using detailed data on the early dynamics of new exports in Chile (1990–2007) we show that, on average, pioneers export less than comparable followers in the same new product. Moreover, followers are 40% more likely to enter a product if a pioneer survives more than one year exporting. These facts are consistent with pioneer-to-follower spillovers, or at least with stories in which the cost of entering early is disproportionally higher for larger exporters. Otherwise they would enter first. Firms better at “exploration” could be worse at “exploitation” (scale-up) in a new export product. This phenomenon is scarce, though, since in most new products pioneers are not followed, even if they survive.

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Paper provided by Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales in its series Working Papers with number 18.

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Date of creation: May 2011
Handle: RePEc:ptl:wpaper:18
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