Topic: Learning by hiring: Manager experience and firm exports
Speaker: Shu Lin, Professor, School of Economics, Fudan University
Date: March 22nd (Wednesday)
Location: Building 4, Room 101
We open the black box of the export spillover effects documented in the literature by identifying one specific channel through which firms can learn from existing exporters. In particular, we explore the role of firm managers in transferring export-related knowledge from previous employers to current employers. To do so, we hand-collect detailed individual level information about top managers and directors for all Chinese listed firms and merge it with the Chinese custom data. The merged dataset allows us to identify each manager's previous exporting experience at the highly disaggregated destination-product-year level. Our results show that managers' previous exporting experience is an important determinant of their current employers' exporting behavior. Hiring a new manager who has knowledge of a particular product (foreign market) is associated with a significant increase in a firm's probability (volume) of exporting the same product (to the same destination).
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