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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 5 No. 3 (August 2013)

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Detecting Learning by Exporting

Article Citation

De Loecker, Jan. 2013. "Detecting Learning by Exporting." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 5(3): 1-21.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.5.3.1

Abstract

Learning by exporting refers to the mechanism whereby a firm's performance improves after entering export markets. This mechanism is often mentioned in policy documents, but many econometric studies have not found corroborating evidence. I show that the econometric methods rely on an assumption that productivity evolves exogenously. I show how to accommodate endogenous productivity processes such as learning by exporting. I discuss the bias introduced by ignoring such a process, and show that adjusting for it can lead to di fferent conclusions. Using micro data from Slovenia I find evidence of substantial productivity gains from entering export markets.

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Authors

De Loecker, Jan (Princeton U)

JEL Classifications

D22: Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
D24: Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
D83: Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
F14: Empirical Studies of Trade
L25: Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope

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