Learning from Exporting
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Learning from Exporting

New Insights, New Perspectives

Robert Salomon

This book explores the relationship between exports and productivity. Whilst a body of research indicates that exporters have superior productivity to non-exporters, received wisdom suggests that this is because productive firms became exporters. Robert Salomon approaches this issue from a different angle. He argues that exporters can access diverse knowledge inputs that are not available in the domestic market, and that this knowledge can spill back to the focal firm and, through learning, can foster increased innovation. Therefore, exporting can also make firms more productive.
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Chapter 5: Data and Methods

Robert Salomon


INTRODUCTION This chapter describes the data used to test the learning-by-exporting hypotheses that the subsequent chapters advance. The data set this study employs is unique and allows me to test learning-by-exporting considerations in a more meaningful and statistically rigorous manner than was possible heretofore. The subsequent sections detail the sources of the data and describe the sample and measures. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the statistical methods used to test the learning-byexporting phenomenon. Several of the Appendices feature greater formal treatment of the methods, including a detailed account of the econometric specifications and their appropriateness for this study. 5.2 SAMPLE The data presented here are from a yearly survey initiated in 1990 by the Fundación Empresa Pública with the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Industry. The Fundación Empresa Pública surveys a stratified random sample of Spanish manufacturing firms to get a representative picture of the country’s manufacturing sector. The data cover the entire population of Spanish firms with 200 or greater employees and include 4 percent of the population of firms with at least ten but fewer than 200 employees. Although the Fundación continues administering the survey and anticipates doing so for some years, I was afforded access to data from the years 1990 through 1997. The initial survey collected information on 2188 firms from 18 distinct industries (Table 5.1).1 When a firm drops from the sample in any given year, another firm with similar characteristics...

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