Publication bias in export promotion impact on export market entry: evidence from a meta-regression analysis

Binyam Afewerk Demena*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Export promotion policies and programmes (EPPs) serve as crucial governmental trade instruments, encouraging firms to explore the realm of exporting. These policies encompass various activities designed to assist firms in overcoming obstacles in foreign markets, facilitating their entry into the export domain. To substantiate the justification for such publicly funded measures, the body of firm-level econometric evidence on EPPs’ impact on the probability of export market entry has expanded considerably. Our extensive review of empirical studies conducted up to and including 2020, has identified 479 reported estimates, enabling us to examine the presence and extent of publication bias. Employing meta-regression analyses, our results reveal a sobering reality. We consistently uncover significant and severe positive evidence of publication bias across various specifications, ranging from 3.133 to 5.673. This suggests that the empirical EPPs effect size on the probability of export market entry appears significantly larger than its actual limited effect. Importantly, our findings indicate that in this research field, publication bias is predominantly a consequence of self-censorship rather than interference by journal reviewers and editors. The evidence in the primary studies has, therefore, exaggerated the actual export market entry effect, influencing both with respect to scientific conclusions and policymakers’ decisions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Early online date19 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2024

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© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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