WP 2. Changes of Firms’ Export Markets and Product Portfolios as the Source of Productivity Growth and Structural Change

Aim and research questions

One of the key drivers of productivity at firm level is internationalization and the potential related learning from abroad about new technologies. Despite the significant case study and macro level evidence, many econometric firm level studies have found little causal proof about learning by exporting at firm level (e.g. except de Loecker 2007, van Biesebroeck 2005) and mixed evidence about the spillovers from internationalization (Görg,Greenaway 2004). We investigate in detail the heterogeneous effects of various internationalization activities of firms, necessary conditions for the positive effects to emerge, the mechanisms how export products or markets related innovation by firms affect productivity and how the firm level export decisions are formed. We combine in analysis the international trade and international business research fields. Our extension of the existing literature (esp. in international business) is to significant extent based on usage of detailed firm and firm-product-destination level panel data of exports of Estonia’s firms, which are merged with other employer and employee level data.

The studies in this WP address the following key research questions:

  1. What are the key factors that affect firms’ decisions at export product or market level?
  2. What are the dominant patterns and determinants of nonlinear internationalization, compared to linear internationalization?
  3. How do firm level changes in export markets and product portfolios lead to higher productivity and performance?
  4. What are the consequences of changes in export markets and export product portfolios on firm survival?
  5. Does product level entry and exit process result in structural change in an industry?

Research team

Priit Vahter

Senior Research Fellow, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia

Email: priit.vahter@ut.ee

Research Themes:
Firm performance, innovation and exporting

Biography: 
Priit Vahter (1979) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Tartu. His research covers various determinants of innovation and firm performance and effects of international trade and FDI. In particular, his focus has been on microeconometric research on open innovation, FDI spillovers, and effects of internationalization on firms.

He has published papers at Research Policy, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Comparative Economics and World Economy, among others. See more at Estonian Research Information System

He has participated in various EU, UK and Estonian research projects. In the current project he coordinates studies under WP2 and conducts research on complementarities in innovation process, the role of organisational and IT capital in enhancing innovation and productivity and export-related knowledge transfer through labour mobility based on micro-data from Estonia.

 

Tiia Vissak

Senior Research Fellow, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia

Email: tiia.vissak@ut.ee

Research Themes: 
Internationalization

Biography: 
Tiia Vissak (1975) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Tartu. Her research covers various factors affecting internationalization. In particular, her focus has been on nonlinear internationalization – de- and re-internationalization – but also on international entrepreneurship issues (the role of managers and other actors in internationalization, family and immigrant entrepreneurship).

She has published articles in International Business Review, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Transformations in Business & Economics, Qualitative Report, Journal of East-West Business, Japanese Journal of Administrative Science and Journal of Euromarketing, among others. See more at Estonian Research Information System

She has participated in various research projects. In the current project she contributes to WP2 and conducts research on internationalization, especially in terms of finding dominant patterns and determinants of nonlinear internationalization.

 

Jaanika Meriküll

Senior Research Fellow, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia

Email: jaanika.merikull@ut.ee

Research Themes: 
Labour economics, public finance, economic development and technological change

Biography: 
Jaanika Meriküll (1978) PhD, is working as a part time senior researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Tartu and as a senior economist at the Bank of Estonia. She has been teaching statistics, econometrics and macroeconomics. Her research interests cover various fields of economics, applying mostly empirical micro-data analysis.

She has published papers in Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Comparative Economics, Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Comparative Economic Studies etc. See more at Estonian Research Information System

She has experience from various national and international research projects. In the current project she participates in WP2 doing research on trade and firm performance.

 

Uku Varblane

PhD Student, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia

Email: uku.varblane@ut.ee

Research Themes: 
Firm performance, exporting and value chain analysis

Biography: 
Uku Varblane (1986) is a PhD Student at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and Programme Manager-Analyst at the Centre for Applied Social Sciences at the University of Tartu. His research fields are related to firm performance and FDI. In particular, he is focusing on the linkages of value chain and firm performace.  

See publications at Estonian Research Information System

He has participated in numerous Estonian and EU level research projects (see et ETIS). In the current project he is participating in WP1 and WP2. 

 

Kärt Rõigas

PhD Student, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia

Email: kart.roigas@ut.ee

Research Themes: 
Knowledge transfer, firm performance

Biography: 
Kärt Rõigas (1986) is a PhD Student at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Tartu, Estonia. Her research is related to different channels of knowledge transfer, for example university-industry relations and labour mobility.

She has published papers at Journal of the Knowledge Economy, among others. See more at Estonian Research Information System

In the current project she contributes to WP2 and conducts research on the knowledge transfer through labour mobility based on micro-data from Estonia.

 

Oliver Lukason

Senior Research Fellow, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia

Email: oliver.lukason@ut.ee

Research Themes:
Firm failure causes & symptoms, firm failure processes, bankruptcy prediction, academic entrepreneurship

Biography: 
Oliver Lukason (1982) is a researcher in the chair of international entrepreneurship and innovation in the University of Tartu. His research interests include everything concerned with firm failure, incl. causes, symptoms, processes, prediction. Besides the main research domain of firm failure, recently studies have also concerned academic entrepreneurship. He has published in different international journals – see more specifically from Estonian Research Portal

 

Dafnis Coudounaris

Associate Professor, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia

Email: dafnis.coudounaris@ut.ee

Research Themes: 

International marketing; Relationship marketing; Strategic marketing; Marketing in emerging economies

Biography: 


Dafnis Coudounaris (1958) is an Associate Professor of Innovation Management, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia.

His research interests include (a) International marketing, i.e., export development process, organizational, and managerial effects on export behavior, export promotion programs and export sales management; (b) Relationship marketing, i.e., exporter-importer working relationship; (c) Strategic marketing, i.e., international marketing strategy, franchising, international joint ventures, determinants of company performance, and business performance measurement; and (d) Marketing in emerging economies.

He has published his work in several journals including Management International Review, Journal of International Management, International Business Review, Psychology & Marketing and Journal of Business Research.

See more at Estonian Research Information System.

 

Contact

Priit Vahter
Senior Research Fellow
School of Economics and Business Administration

University of Tartu
J. Liivi 4
50409 Tartu
Estonia

Tel. +372 737 6336
priit.vahter@ut.ee

Skype: priit.vahter