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Exporting and Innovation: Theory and Firm-Level Evidence from the People's Republic of China


  • Lin, Faqin

    () (Central University of Finance and Economics)

  • Tang, Hsiao Chink

    () (Asian Development Bank)


This paper investigates how exporting affects firm innovation. We embed innovation into a firm heterogeneity model with productivity, where in equilibrium the model shows that exporters invest more in innovation, such as research and development (R&D), than non-exporters. Using firm-level data from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), we apply the Levinsohn and Petrin (2003) method of estimating firm productivity and matching econometrics to control for endogeneity. The results show, on average, in contrast to non-exporters, exporters increase their R&D intensity by more than 5%, raise their R&D expenditure by more than 33%, and are 4% more likely to engage in R&D activity. In addition, we find exporting to have a smaller impact on innovation among firms that export processed goods, specifically, those in the electronics sectors, located in coastal provinces, and foreign-owned.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin, Faqin & Tang, Hsiao Chink, 2013. "Exporting and Innovation: Theory and Firm-Level Evidence from the People's Republic of China," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 111, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0111

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. E. Kohlscheen & M. P. Taylor, 2008. "International liquidity swaps: is the Chiang Mai Initiative pooling reserves efficiently?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 323-332.
    2. C. Randall Henning, 2002. "East Asian Financial Cooperation," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa68.
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    More about this item


    Exporting; innovation; firm heterogeneity; matching;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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