Discussion paper

DP8597 The Impact of Trade Promotion Services on Canadian Exporter Performance

We evaluate the impact of the export promotion program delivered by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service on various dimensions of export performance. Over the 1999-2006 time period we study, Canadian firms successfully diversified their exports to destinations beyond the United States and smaller firms increased their share of total exports. Both of these achievements are explicit aims of the program, but in order to make causal inferences we rely on various identifying assumptions from the treatment effects literature. The results indicate very robustly that the program had an effect at the intensive margin, boosting the average level of exports to given product-destination markets. Effects at the extensive margins of trade, increasing the number of export destinations or number of products exported, are smaller and more sensitive to the identification assumption. This finding differs from previous studies for several Latin American countries where extensive margin effects were most robust. One reason is that the Canadian program was most effective for larger firms and for firms already active on several export markets.


Van Biesebroeck, J, E Yu and S Chen (2011), ‘DP8597 The Impact of Trade Promotion Services on Canadian Exporter Performance‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 8597. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp8597