Towards a Theory of Internationalization
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Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten
Chapter 30: Export Performance and Productivity in Portuguese Manufacturing SMEs
Margarida Proença, Isabel Correia and Orlando Petiz 1 Introduction This chapter examines the determinants of export propensity of Portuguese manufacturing SMEs. The most recent literature on ﬁrm’s internationalization tries to establish a relationship between performance, productivity and trade, assuming a model with heterogeneous ﬁrms. Applying quantile regression, this study supports the notion that ﬁrms are heterogeneous, and that exporting ﬁrms have higher productivity levels and are more technologically sophisticated than other ﬁrms in the same industry. International trade among industrial countries has, since World War II, risen at a faster rate than their national incomes. Almost every discussion of globalization and internationalization of production underlines the growing share of trade in output, the removal of barriers to trade and technical advances. In recent decades, considerable attention has been given to ﬁrm-level adjustment to international markets. From the product cycle model to the monopolistic advantage model of Hymer, the Uppsala School to the eclectic paradigm of Dunning and the transaction cost analysis, the literature is huge, but quite broad and poorly integrated and, in general, it does not take into account ﬁrm size. In fact, in most of this research, ﬁrms assumed to go international are large and mature, being the result of incremental decisions in the domestic markets (Johanson and Mattsson, 1988), a process, an evolution of the involvement in international operations (Welch and Luostarinen, 1988; Wind et al., 1973). In this debate, SMEs have been relegated to a minor role, which is in contrast to the European industry...
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