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ITC Working Paper Series 2018

  • SME Competitiveness Outlook2018

    WP-01-2018.E: The impact of quality-related business trainings in Latin America [PDF]

    Antonina Popova, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Valentina Rollo, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Jasmeer Virdee, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland

    Short description: This paper assesses the impact of quality-related business trainings on firm certification and export status, using panel data on 14 Latin American countries for 2006 and 2010. Using a rich set of firm level controls, we apply a difference-in-difference regression specification and propensity score matching to check the robustness of the results. Findings indicate that quality-related trainings help firms gain and retain internationally recognised quality certificates (IRQC). Furthermore, our results show that these trainings help firms transition from non-exporter to exporter status as well as to retain their exporter status in case they already export. Trainings also resulted in annual sales and employment growth, although no rise in exports, productivity or capacity utilization was detected. Interestingly, the magnitude of these benefits increases with the size of the firm. This may be related to absorptive capacities, which may hinder SMEs ability to apply the knowledge they have gained through the trainings. The last finding points to the need of complementary policies to ensure SMEs reap the full benefits of quality-related trainings.

    WP-02-2018.E: What bang for the buck? Export promotion and the extensive margin of trade [PDF]

    Eleonora De Falcis, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Valentina Rollo, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Olga Solleder, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Rohit Ticku, The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland

    Short description: Export promotion agencies (EPA) attempt to provide support to firms willing to expand their operations across borders. EPAs can assist firms in overcoming information asymmetry and find markets for their products (Olarreaga et al., 2017). The objective of this paper is to assess whether allocating more EPA’s budget to new exporters effectively increases the number of exporters. We test this on a cross-country dataset merging indicators from: the EPA surveys and the Exporter Dynamics Database. Our results confirm that allocating a higher EPA’s budget on new exporters raises the number of exporters. Interestingly, this result is led by budget allocated to small firms, while the number of exporters declines when more budget is allocated to large firms. Our findings reinforce the heterogeneous firms’ theory: trade costs affect firms differently, and smaller firms are the ones which could potentially benefit more from a higher budget allocation. Institutions can use these results to make better informed budget allocation.

     

  • SME Competitiveness Outlook 2019

    SMECO-19

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