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Article

Riding the storm out: the short- and long-term effects of export promotion on firm performance during an economic downturn

Freixanet J., Rialp J., Lin H., I.Y.A. Churakova.

This study evaluates the short- and long-term impact of export promotion by focusing on a Spanish program to support beginning exporters. Based on the observations of 1884 firms over the period of 20052014, the findings demonstrate that the program had a positive impact on participants export and economic performance, and the effects were persistent. The paper concludes that focusing on export promotion towards SMEs and beginning exporters and ensuring a balanced mix of various forms of assistance is critical to the effectiveness and lasting effects of export promotion. It also shows that, during the recent great trade collapse starting in 2008, firms using this type of assistance outperformed firms in the control group and the national average regarding both export growth and survival rates. These results are encouraging regarding the countercyclical potential of export promotion. The findings have significant implications for scholars, managers and policymakers.