Discussion paper

DP11270 Export Promotion: what works?

A recent literature has argued that resources spent on export promotion help export growth (Van
Biesebroeck, Konings and Volpe, 2016). In this paper we build on this work and examine the heterogeneity
in returns across countries to disentangle which are the characteristics of Trade Promotion Organizations
(TPOs) that are more likely to generate higher returns. Results suggest that on average a one percent
increase in export promotion budgets increases exports by 0.074 percent, con rming results in the earlier
literature. Our results also suggest that these export gains translate into very large GDP per capita gains.
Indeed, a one percent increase in export budgets generates a 0.065 percent increase in GDP per capita.
More interestingly, our results show which TPO characteristics generate large increases in exports, and
which generate large gains in terms of GDP per capita.


Olarreaga, M (2016), ‘DP11270 Export Promotion: what works?‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 11270. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp11270