FDI, Size, and Innovation: Influences on Firm-Level Exports in East Asia (Ganeshan Wignaraja)


Drawing on recent trade and technology theories, this study examines the influence of several factors on the probability of exporting in electronics firms in China, Thailand, and the Philippines. It explores the validity of two alternative proxies for innovation – R&D expenditures and a technology index representing technological capabilities (based on Sanjaya Lall’s framework) – as well as control variables. Foreign ownership and acquiring technological capabilities emerge as the key influences on exporting behavior. Firm size also matters in China and the Philippines. While R&D expenditures are not statistically significant, they remain important to future competitiveness in East Asian firms. The technology index is a valuable research tool to study exporting at the firm-level.

Working Paper