SOTA Review

What do we know about the factors that affect business export decisions?

ERC SOTA review No 61

Associated Themes
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Internationalisation

The benefits of exporting are well-recognised at micro and macro levels, which leads to export promotion efforts by governments and business support organisations worldwide. While firm characteristics related to export entry, such as productivity, are well studied, the same cannot be said about the factors that affect firms’ decisions to export, especially to re-start and to continue exporting. This paper aims to address this gap by reviewing the key evidence from OECD countries published since the year 2000. The following key factors affecting firms’ first-entry decisions were identified: leadership characteristics and perceptions, the financial situation of the firm, business networks, and digital adoption.