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

Posted: 10 Jan 1997

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: July 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 their industry or region? In this paper we analyze the causal links between exporting and productivity using firm-level panel data from three semi-industrialized economies. Representing export market participation and production costs as jointly dependent autoregressive processes, we look for evidence that firms' stochastic cost process shifts when they break into foreign markets. We find that relatively more efficient firms become exporters, and that their costs are not affected by previous export market participation. This implies that self-selection of the more efficient firms into the export market, and not learning-by-exporting, explains the efficiency gap between exporter and non-exporters previously documented in the literature. Further, we find some evidence that exporters reduce the costs of breaking into foreign markets for domestically oriented producers, but do not appear to help these producers become more efficient.

JEL Classification: F1, F2, F00, 012

Suggested Citation

Clerides, Sofronis and Lach, Saul and Tybout, James R., Is Learning-by-Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco (July 1996). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4539

Sofronis Clerides

University of Cyprus ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus
+357 2289 3709 (Phone)
+357 2289 5049 (Fax)

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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

Via Patara, 3
Rimini (RN), RN 47900
Italy

Saul Lach

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3253 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

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

CEPR

London
United Kingdom

James R. Tybout (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics ( email )

517 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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