In this paper, I model small firms' decisions to export by applying an existing model of the theory of diffusion of innovations and test the predictions of the model with data on Finnish SMEs. The model, incorporating so-called epidemic learning and rank effects, describes nicely the different phases of this decision-making process. The data used in the empirical analysis has been collected by interviewing directors of small industrial firms especially for this study. The results suggest, among other things, that the development of exporting in a small firm is particularly influenced by the language skills of the entrepreneurs, and that the smaller the firm, the faster is the adoption of the export strategy. In addition, the development of exporting has been faster in firms that have started exporting in the 1990s than in firms that began exporting before the '90s.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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