Is learning by exporting important? Micro-dynamic evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco

Sofronis K. Clerides, Saul Lach, James R. Tybout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

963 Scopus citations

Abstract

Do firms become more efficient after becoming exporters? Do exporters generate positive externalities for domestically oriented producers? In this paper we tackle these questions by analyzing the causal links between exporting and productivity using plant-level data. We look for evidence that firms' cost processes change after they break into foreign markets. We find that relatively efficient firms become exporters; however, in most industries, firms' costs are not affected by previous exporting activities. So the well-documented positive association between exporting and efficiency is explained by the self-selection of the more efficient firms into the export market. We also find some evidence of positive regional externalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-947
Number of pages45
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Volume113
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

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