Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco

59 Pages Posted: 25 May 2006 Last revised: 13 Feb 2022

See all articles by Sofronis Clerides

Sofronis Clerides

University of Cyprus; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bologna - Rimini Center for Economic Analysis (RCEA)

Saul Lach

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; CEPR

James Tybout

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 1996

Abstract

Is there any empirical evidence that firms become more efficient after becoming exporters? Do firms that become exporters generate positive spillovers for domestically-oriented producers? In this paper we analyze the causal links between exporting and productivity using firm-level panel data from three semi-industrialized countries. Representing export market" participation and production costs as jointly dependent autoregressive processes, we look for evidence that firms' stochastic cost processes shift when they break into foreign markets. We find that relatively efficient firms become exporters, but firms' unit costs are not affected by previous export market participation. So the well-known efficiency gap between exporters and non-exporters is due to self-selection of the more efficient firms into the export market, rather than learning by exporting. Further, we find some evidence that exporters reduce the costs of breaking into foreign markets for domestically oriented producers, but they do not appear to help these producers become more efficient.

Suggested Citation

Clerides, Sofronis and Lach, Saul and Tybout, James R., Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco (August 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5715, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225582

Sofronis Clerides (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://sofronis.clerides.com

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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University of Bologna - Rimini Center for Economic Analysis (RCEA) ( email )

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Saul Lach

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

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Israel
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+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/saul/saul.html

CEPR

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James R. Tybout

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics ( email )

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University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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