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Growth through export: evidence from Iran’s manufacturing plants

Kowsar Yousefi, Seyed Ali Madnanizdeh and Fateme Zahra Sobhani

Journal of Economic Studies, 2020, vol. 47, issue 1, 111-131

Abstract: Purpose - Does the long-term growth rate of a firm increase by exporting? If yes, how large is that increase in a developing economy? The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach - The authors incorporate data from the manufacturing plants in Iran as a developing economy for 2003–2011 to address this question. Using fixed effect panel and propensity score matching method, the authors examine whether exportation can affect a firm’s growth rate to test for the learning to grow hypothesis. Findings - The findings document that: not only the exporters are larger and more productive than non-exporters, but they also grow faster in size and productivity measures as well. Additionally, the authors find that the rise in the growth rate is a short-term phenomenon and it disappears in the second year; meaning that exportation does not have a permanent growth effect. The findings are consistent with a spot effect of learning, compared to a permanent growth engine. Results are robust to different analysis tests. Originality/value - The authors investigate the learning effect of exporting within recently released firm-level data of a developing country.

Keywords: International trade; Growth; Export; Productivity; Propensity score weighting; Plants’ growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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