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Learning-by-doing, learning-by-exporting, and productivity : evidence from Colombia

  • Fernandes, Ana M.
  • Isgut, Alberto E.

The empirical evidence on whether participation in export markets increases plant-level productivity has been inconclusive so far. The authors explain this inconclusiveness by drawing on Arrow's (1962) characterization of learning-by-doing, which suggests focusing on young plants and using measures of export experience rather than export participation. They find strong evidence of learning-by-exporting for young Colombian manufacturing plants between 1981 and 1991: total factor productivity increases 4-5 percent for each additional year a plant has exported, after controlling for the effect of current exports on total factor productivity. Learning-by-exporting is more important for young than for old plants and in industries that deliver a larger percentage of their exports to high-income countries.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3544.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3544
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  1. A. Isgut, 2001. "What's Different about Exporters? Evidence from Colombian Manufacturing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 57-82.
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