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Innovation, productivity and export Evidence from Italy

  • Roberto Antonietti
  • Giulio Cainelli

Recent developments in the new international trade theory stressed the relationship between firm heterogeneity and internationalization performance. The key prediction of these models is that firms with different levels of productivity - the main source of firm heterogeneity - will generally engage in different modes of internationalization depending on the level of sunk costs incurred in acquiring information on foreign markets, establishing distribution channels, and so on. However, in these theoretical models the sources of productivity are generally unexplained, considering firm heterogeneity as exogenous. A few papers try to open the 'black box' of firm heterogeneity and to show that internationalized firms are generally more innovative, use more knowledge-intensive workers, and are characterized by superior organizational and managerial practices. Using a large sample of over 3000 Italian manufacturing firms for the period 2001-2003, we contribute to this debate employing, and extending the basic Crépon, Duguet and Mairesse (CDM) model. We estimate a five-equation model which identifies the links (correlations) between innovation investment, innovation output, firm productivity and export performance.

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Paper provided by Public policies and local development in its series Openloc Working Papers with number 1017.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpol:1017
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  1. Loof, Hans & Heshmati, Almas, 2002. "Knowledge capital and performance heterogeneity: : A firm-level innovation study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 61-85, March.
  2. Alfredo Minerva & Lorenzo Casaburi & Valeria Gattai, 2008. "Firms’ International Status and Heterogeneity in Performance: Evidence From Italy," Working Papers 2008.3, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Bruno Crepon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation And Productivity: An Econometric Analysis At The Firm Level," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 115-158.
  4. Hans Loof & Almas Heshmati, 2006. "On the relationship between innovation and performance: A sensitivity analysis," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4-5), pages 317-344.
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