Discussion paper

DP6411 Innovation and the Export-productivity Link

We explore the relationship between innovation activity, productivity, and exports using a panel of Spanish manufacturing firms for 1990-1998. Our results - based on non-parametric tests - suggest that firm innovation status is important in explaining the positive export-productivity association documented in prior research. For the sample of small innovating firms, we find no significant differences in productivity levels between exporters and non-exporters. Especially product innovation seems to explain the positive association between exports and productivity for this group of firms. For small non-innovating firms with low and medium productivity levels exporting firms continue to exhibit higher productivity than non-exporting firms.


Cassiman, B and E Golovko (2007), ‘DP6411 Innovation and the Export-productivity Link‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 6411. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp6411