Knowledge and Export Modes: Which Export Strategy Boosts Firms Knowledge Acquisition?
Keywords:TFP, Productivity Sorting, Direct and Indirect Trade, Stochastic Dominance, Import – Export
The aim of our research is to investigate whether the choice to export directly versus indirect export plays a role in the level of knowledge acquired by exporting firms. To the best of our knowledge, there is no empirical evidence in this stream of literature and our original contribution consists in considering the outcomes of learning-by-exporting in presence of export intermediaries. Thus, we study whether different export strategies may generate different unobservable productivity premia. In particular, we focused on 25 emerging Countries, and through a machine learning method, we evaluate how the level of knowledge acquired by firms would change if those who chose a specific strategy had instead chosen another one. Our results show that (1) the learning by exporting hypothesis is still valid when firms export indirectly; (2) direct exporters acquire more knowledge than indirect exporters; (3) under the same export strategy, Chinese exporters (direct and indirect) outperform other Asian exporters.
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