This paper examines whether and how heterogeneity in exports affects firms’ innovations in China. Using comprehensive transaction-level trade data from China Customs to construct various dimensional measures exports, empirical results obtained from a matched firm-transaction panel data find that exports overall have a positive impact on promoting innovations in terms of R&D and new product sales. The innovation-enhancing effect of exports depends on the heterogeneity in exports. Firms with greater varieties of exports, more market diversification, and higher export quality are associated with a higher R&D propensity and more new product sales, while process exports are found a negative association with innovations.
- Export heterogeneity
- Process exports