Are Seminars on Export Promotion Effective? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial

Author Name Yu Ri KIM (University of Tokyo) / TODO Yasuyuki (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / SHIMAMOTO Daichi (Waseda University) / Petr MATOUS (University of Sydney)
Creation Date/NO. August 2016 16-E-078
Research Project Firms' Domestic and International Networks
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This paper investigates the impacts of informational and motivational seminars on export promotion targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the traditional apparel and textile clusters in Vietnam. To control for biases due to self-selection, we conducted a randomized controlled trial and invited randomly selected firms to participate in one-day seminars. Because only some of the invited firms participated in the seminars, we employ an instrumental variable approach in which dummies for random invitation are used as instruments for quantifying participation. We find that the seminars had no significant effect on most firms' preparation for, perception of, or engagement in exporting activity. However, the seminars encouraged large firms and firms with prior export experience, which possibly embody higher productivity and absorptive capacity, to (re-)start exporting. Our results suggest that productivity improvement is an effective means to encourage underdeveloped firms to export, whereas provision of information is effective for productive firms.

Published: Kim, Yu Ri, Yasuyuki Todo, Daichi Shimamoto, and Petr Matous, 2018. "Are seminars on export promotion effective? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial," The World Economy, Vol. 41(11), pp. 2954-2982