Economics at your fingertips  

Information, Perceptions and Exporting - Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial

Holger Breinlich, D Donaldson, Patrick Nolen and Greg Wright ()

Economics Discussion Papers from University of Essex, Department of Economics

Abstract: We present novel evidence from the results of a randomized controlled trial on the role that information plays in the perceptions of the benefits and costs of exporting. We first present results from a baseline survey of approximately 1,000 UK manufacturing firms to show that non-exporters hold substantially more negative beliefs about the costs and benefits of exporting relative to exporters. We then explore the extent to which these differences in perceptions are due to a biased understanding of the true costs and benefits of exporting on the part of non-exporters, or are instead a reflection of underlying differences in performance characteristics across firms, the view assumed by most theories of international trade. To do this, we make targeted information available to a randomly selected subset of these firms in the form of information from the UK's export promotion agency about the benefits and costs of exporting. The results of our intervention reveal a surprising, asymmetric response on the part of exporters and non-exporters. Instead of revising their negative perceptions upward, treated non-exporters become more likely to report lower perceived benefits and higher perceived barriers compared to non-treated non-exporters. In contrast, the attitudes of existing exporters improve. We discuss different behavioral and non-behavioral explanations for this result and highlight possible implications for export promotion policies.

Keywords: Exporting; Information; Perceptions; RCTs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-int
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) original version (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Discussion Papers Administrator, Department of Economics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, U.K. ... /papers-request.aspx

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Economics Discussion Papers from University of Essex, Department of Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Essex Economics Web Manager ().

Page updated 2023-03-07
Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:16005