Are the Benefits of Export Support Durable? Evidence from Tunisia

52 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2013

See all articles by Olivier Cadot

Olivier Cadot

University of Lausanne - School of Economics and Business Administration (HEC-Lausanne); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); World Bank

Ana M. Fernandes

World Bank - International Trade Division; World Bank

Julien Gourdon

OECD

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2013

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of the FAMEX export promotion program in Tunisia on the performance of beneficiary firms. While most studies assess only the short-term impact of such programs, we consider also the longer-term impact. Estimates suggest that beneficiaries initially saw both faster export growth and greater diversification across destinations and products. However, three years after the intervention, beneficiariesÂ’ growth rates and export levels were not significantly different from those of a control group even though they remained more diversified. We confirm that this divergence between export growth and diversification is not due to small export transactions to new markets creating an illusion of diversification; to greater exposure of beneficiary firms to crisis-affected economies leading to stunted export growth; or to spillover benefits for non-beneficiary firms resulting in their catching-up in export sales. We find some evidence that the divergence may be related to constraints within the firm, such as limited experience and in-house export capacity; to external constraints, such as access to finance; and to the design and implementation of the FAMEX program which placed greater emphasis on diversification than on export growth.

Keywords: export margins, Export promotion, firms, impact evaluation, matching grant, propensity-score matching, Tunisia

JEL Classification: C23, F13, F14, L15, L25, O17, O24

Suggested Citation

Cadot, Olivier and Fernandes, Ana Margarida and Gourdon, Julien and Mattoo, Aaditya, Are the Benefits of Export Support Durable? Evidence from Tunisia (November 2013). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9758. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2359536

Olivier Cadot (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne - School of Economics and Business Administration (HEC-Lausanne) ( email )

Unil Dorigny, Batiment Internef
Lausanne, 1015
Switzerland
+41 21 692 3463 (Phone)
+41 21 692 3495 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
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Ana Margarida Fernandes

World Bank - International Trade Division

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank ( email )

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Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/afernandes

Julien Gourdon

OECD ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Room MC 3-327
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8047 (Phone)
202-676-9810 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/amattoo

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