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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] (updated version 2021)

    Eleonora De Falcis, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Rome, Italy
    Valentina Rollo, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland
    Olga Solleder, ITC, Geneva, Switzerland

    Short description: Export promotion agencies (EPAs) provide support to firms that are willing to expand their operations across borders. This paper assesses whether allocating larger amount of an EPA’s budget to new exporters effectively increases the number of exporters. We test this by combining information on EPA’s budget allocation with country level indicators of exporters’ performance in 27 countries. Our results confirm that allocating more support to new exporters raises the number of exporters. 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 targeted support. EPAs can use these results to allocate their budget in a way that is most effective given their policy objectives.

  • SME Competitiveness Outlook 2019

    SMECO-19

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