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Domestic transport cost reductions and firms’ export behaviour

Pedro Albarran (), Adelheid Holl () and Raquel Carrasco

No 2009-13, Working Papers from FEDEA

Abstract: Transport infrastructure investment reduces the cost of distance and enables firms to establish and maintain contacts over larger distances. Spain has developed an ambitious road building programme over the last decades, which has considerably reduced transport costs to access European markets. In this paper we depart from the traditional aggregate approach in analysing the impacts of transport infrastructure investment. In particular, we examine the export decision of Spanish manufacturing firms and test how domestic transport cost reductions affect firms’ probability of becoming exporters. We estimate models that control for unobserved heterogeneity among firms, endogeneity and initial conditions problems. Our results provide some support for a positive effect of domestic transport improvements on firms’ exporting probability. However, the magnitude of this effects is small, being the strongest effect the one due to previous export experience which suggests high entry costs into export markets.

Date: 2009-03
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