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Start-up export intensity: An empirical investigation of the impact of absorptive capacity and business owner human and social capital

Jonas Debrulle

Working Papers of VIVES - Research Centre for Regional Economics from KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), VIVES - Research Centre for Regional Economics

Abstract: This study investigates the influence of business owner human and social capital on start-up export intensity. In addition, building on the knowledge-based view of the firm, we assume the relationships between owner characteristics and firm export activities to be moderated by the start-up’s absorptive capacity, which designates its ability to acquire, assimilate and exploit new information. Flemish start-ups form this study’s empirical setting. Our results indicate that start-up export intensity is (1) driven by the business owner’s formal education and start-up experience, while (2) weakened by his/her accumulated management experience. Furthermore, we find evidence that start-up absorptive capacity significantly moderates the export impact of the owner’s human capital. Finally, implications and opportunities for future research are suggested.

Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-ent, nep-hrm and nep-int
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