Número: 182
Autor(es): Paulo Barbosa, João Cortes e João Amador
Mês: Julho
Ano: 2024

This paper estimates how distant a firm is from becoming a successful exporter. The empirical exercise uses very rich data for Portuguese firms and assumes that there are non-trivial determinants to distinguish between exporters and non-exporters. An array of machine learning models - Bayesian Additive Regression Tree (BART), Missingness not at Random (BART-MIA), Random Forest, Logit Regression and Neural Networks – are trained to predict firms’ export probability and shed light on the critical factors driving the transition to successful export ventures. Neural Networks outperform the other techniques and remain highly accurate when we change the export definitions and the training and testing strategies. We show that the most influential variables for prediction are labour productivity, firms’ goods and services imports, capital intensity and wages.

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