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Export entrepreneurs : evidence from Peru

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  • Freund, Caroline
  • Pierola, Martha Denisse

Abstract

This paper examines firm entryand survival in exporting, and in products and markets not previously served by any domestic exporters. The authors use data on the nontraditional agriculture sector in Peru, which grew seven-fold from 1994 to 2007. They find tremendous firm entry and exit in the export sector, with exits more likely after one year and among firms that start small. There is also significant entry and exit in new markets. In contrast, such trial and error in new products is rare. New products are typically discovered by large experienced exporters and there is increased entry after products are discovered. The results imply that high sunk costs of entry are of concern for product discovery, especially for products that are not consumed domestically. In contrast, the tremendous entry and exit in exporting and in new markets suggests that initial sunk costs are relatively low. The authors develop a model that explains how entrepreneurs decide to export and to develop new export products and markets when there are sunk costs of discovery and uncertainty about idiosyncratic costs. The model explains many features of the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Martha Denisse, 2010. "Export entrepreneurs : evidence from Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5407, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5407
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Josep M Vilarrubia & Rubén Segura-Cayuela, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," 2008 Meeting Papers 661, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2006. "Globalization and Endogenous Firm Scope," NBER Working Papers 12322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Volpe Martincus, Christian & Carballo, Jerónimo, 2008. "Is export promotion effective in developing countries? Firm-level evidence on the intensive and the extensive margins of exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 89-106, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Markets and Market Access; Microfinance; Access to Markets; Economic Theory&Research; Debt Markets;

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