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Export promotion agencies : what works and what doesn't

  • Lederman, Daniel
  • Olarreaga, Marcelo
  • Payton, Lucy

The number of national export promotion agencies (EPAs) has tripled over the past two decades. While more countries have made them part of their national export strategy, studies have criticized their efficiency in developing countries (Hogan, Keesing, and Singer 1991). Partly in reaction to these critiques, EPAs have been retooled (see International Trade Centre, ITC, 1998 or 2000, for example). This paper studies the impact of existing EPAs and their strategies based on a new data set covering 104 industrial and developing countries. Results suggest that on average they have a strong and statistically significant impact on exports. For each $1 of export promotion, the paper estimates a $40 increase in exports for the median EPA. However, there is heterogeneity across regions, levels of development, and types of instruments. Furthermore, there are strong diminishing returns, suggesting that as far as EPAs are concerned, small is beautiful.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4044.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4044
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  1. Keesing, Donald B, 1983. "Linking Up to Distant Markets: South to North Exports of Manufactured Consumer Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 338-42, May.
  2. F H Rolf Seringhaus & Guenther Botschen, 1991. "Cross-National Comparison of Export Promotion Services: The Views of Canadian and Austrian Companies," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 115-133, March.
  3. Rose, Andrew K, 2005. "The Foreign Service and Foreign Trade: Embassies as Export Promotion," CEPR Discussion Papers 4953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Simeon Djankov & Caroline Freund & Cong S. Pham, 2010. "Trading on Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 166-173, February.
  5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  6. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," Working Paper Series rwp02-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Mihir A. Desai & James R. Hines Jr., 2001. "Exchange Rates and Tax-Based Export Promotion," NBER Working Papers 8121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Masaaki Kotabe & Michael R Czinkota, 1992. "State Government Promotion of Manufacturing Exports: A Gap Analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(4), pages 637-658, December.
  9. Alvarez, Roberto, 2004. "Sources of export success in small- and medium-sized enterprises: the impact of public programs," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 383-400, June.
  10. Puhani, Patrick A, 2000. " The Heckman Correction for Sample Selection and Its Critique," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 53-68, February.
  11. Timothy J Wilkinson & Lance Eliot Brouthers, 2000. "Trade Shows, Trade Missions and State Governments: Increasing FDI and High-Tech Exports," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(4), pages 725-734, December.
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