This paper analyses firms’ export entry decisions and their subsequent expansion to other export markets using Dutch firm-level international transaction data. In particular new exporters increase quickly the distance between their export markets and their home country. They are also going to export to countries in which the institutional and regulatory quality is lower. We show that firms follow a stepping stone approach for learning to export and to enter distant markets. The probability to enter a market at 1,000 km from the Netherlands increases by about 25% if the firm already exports to a market at 500 km from the new one.
- heterogeneous firms
- sequential export market entry
- strategic export decisions