Using a matching approach, we compare the productivity trajectories of future export-entrants and matched nonentrants. Future exporters have higher productivity than do nonentrants before entry into international markets, which indicates self-selection into exports. More interestingly, we also observe a productivity increase among export-entrants relative to nonentrants before export entry. This might be explained by higher investments in physical capital prior to export entry. We find no evidence that the productivity gap between export-entrants and nonentrants continues to grow after export entry. Our results suggest that learning to export occurs but that learning by exporting does not. In contrast to previous studies on Swedish manufacturing, we focus particularly on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 21, 2011
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