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Transport infraestructure, sunk costs and firms' export behaviour

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38 pages

Transport infrastructure investment reduces the cost of distance and enables firms to establish contacts over larger distances. We study the impact of transport-cost reductions on firms’ export behaviour, accounting for the role of entry costs and other firms’ characteristics. Using Spanish data we estimate dynamic probability models controlling for firms’ unobserved heterogeneity and for the simultaneity of firms’ export and location decisions. Our results provide support for a positive effect of domestic transport improvements on firms’ exporting probability for small and medium sized firms. We find a strong effect of previous export experience, suggesting high entry costs into export markets.
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Working Paper 09-22 Departamento de Economía   Economic Series (13) Universidad Carlos III de Madrid  June 2009 Calle Madrid, 126   28903 Getafe (Spain)   Fax (34) 916249875    TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE, SUNK COSTS AND FIRMS’ EXPORT BEHAVIOR   *   Pedro Albarran a , Raquel Carrasco b , Adelheid Holl c     Abstract Transport infrastructure investment reduces the cost of distance and enables firms to establish contacts over larger distances. We study the impact of transport-cost reductions on firms’ export behaviour, accounting for the role of entry costs and other firms’ characteristics. Using Spanish data we estimate dynamic probability models controlling for firms’ unobserved heterogeneity and for the simultaneity of firms’ export and lcoation decisions. Our results provide support for a positive effect of domestic transport improvements on firms’ exporting probability for small and medium sized firms. We find a strong effect of previous export experience, suggesting high entry costs into export markets.   Keywords:  export decision; transport infrastructure; accessibility; dynamic panel data.   JEL:  F14, R1, R4    
                                                  a  Departamento de Economía, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, C/ Madrid, 126, 28903 Getafe (Madrid), SPAIN; E.mail: pedro.albarran@uc3m.es   b  Departamento de Economía, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, C/ Madrid, 126, 28903 Getafe (Madrid) Spain; E. mail: rcarras@eco.uc3m.es   c  FEDEA (Fundación de Estudios de Economía Aplicada), C/ Jorge Juan, 46, 28001 Madrid Spain; E. mail: a.holl@fedea.es  
 
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