New Insights, New Perspectives
Chapter 4: Exporting
INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses previous research in the broader exporting and trade literatures to discuss their relevance to the debate regarding exporting and innovation. While exporting is the most widely used ﬁrm strategy for international expansion, relatively little is known about this strategy compared to other forms of international expansion (such as FDI). An abundant macroeconomic trade literature analyzes exporting at the national level, but ﬁrms, not nations, engage in trade. Although goods ﬂow between nations, tremendous variance exists within nations and industries that are better explained by ﬁrm diﬀerence (Kravis and Lipsey, 1992). Much of the extant research addresses the antecedents of export behavior rather than examining its consequences. Empirical work generally examines which ﬁrms become exporters in an eﬀort to explain how much each ﬁrm optimally exports. Researchers studying exporting as a phenomenon generally look at it as an outcome variable, examining solely the unidirectional relationship between some explanatory variables and exporting behavior. Very little research addresses the implications of being an exporter on other ﬁrm outcomes (Leonidou et al., 1998). In this book, then, I adopt a diﬀerent perspective to explore the eﬀect of exporting behavior on ﬁrm outcomes, namely on innovation. This chapter begins by examining the extant theory on international trade from a national and ﬁrm standpoint. It then reviews the empirical literature on micro-level exporting. Exporting in this context is generally treated as an endogenously selected ﬁrm strategy, a view supported by empirical results attained by scholars pursuing this line...
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