Scandinavian Working Papers in Business Administration

Working Papers,
Örebro University, School of Business

No 2009:15: Do Firms Learn by Exporting or Learn to Export? Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Swedish Manufacturing

Pär Hansson (), Kent Eliasson () and Markus Lindvert ()
Additional contact information
Pär Hansson: Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics, Postal: Örebro University, Swedish Business School, SE - 701 82 ÖREBRO, and, Sweden Growth Analysis, Studentplan 3, SE-831 40 Östersund
Kent Eliasson: Department of Economics, Umeå University, Postal: SE-901 87 Umeå and Growth Analysis, Studentplan 3, SE-831 40 Östersund
Markus Lindvert: Growth Analysis, Postal: Studentplan 3, SE-831 40 Östersund

Abstract: Using a matching approach, we compare the productivity trajectories of future exporters and matched and unmatched non-exporters. Future exporters have higher productivity than do unmatched non-exporters before entry into the export market, which indicates self-selection into exports. More interestingly, we also find a productivity increase among future exporters relative to matched non-exporters 1-2 years before export entry. However, the productivity gap between future exporters and matched non-exporters does not continue 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)

Keywords: productivity; learning-to-export; learning-by-exporting; matching

JEL-codes: D24; F14

35 pages, November 16, 2009

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