Differential Impact of Uncertainty on Exporting Decision in Risk-averse and Risk-taking Firms: Evidence from Korean Firms




Seoul Journal of Economics 2016, Vol. 29, No. 3, August 2016, p. 379-409


Most existing literature examining the links between firm hetero- geneity and entry into exporting assumes that firms are risk neutral. In this study, we relax this strict assumption that firms are risk neutral and introduce different attitudes of firms toward risk as an additional source of firm heterogeneity. In particular, we examine how risk attitude changes the effect of uncertainty on the decision of a firm to export considering the different types of uncertainty faced by the firm, namely, firm-specific and macroeconomic. Our analysis yields two interesting findings. First, firm-specific uncertainty discour- ages risk-averse firms from participating in foreign markets more than risk-taking firms. One possible explanation for this finding is that risk-averse firms are more cautious in export market participation when firm-specific uncertainty increases. Second, we find that risk- averse firms are less likely to decrease their export market participa- tion when responding to macroeconomic uncertainty. Thus, risk-averse firms are more likely to diversify their domestic risk by participating in foreign markets in responding to macroeconomic uncertainty.

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