Integration & Trade Journal is now accepting submissions of papers examining the patterns and determinants of the internationalization of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
Papers should address the following questions, among others:
The Importance of SMEs in Trade Flows and FDI in LAC. How important are the SMEs in countries’ exports, imports, and foreign direct investment, in terms of both the share in the number of firms involved in these activities and of their aggregate values? To what extent these figures change when intermediated trade (e.g., through wholesalers) or indirect trade (e.g., sales of inputs to large companies that end up exporting the final product) is explicitly taken into account? What is the contribution of the SMEs to export growth and diversification over time? What is their consequent impact on overall employment growth?
The Internationalization of SMEs and Its Driving Factors in LAC. What are the factors driving the internationalization of the SMEs? What kind of SMEs are more likely to engage in cross-border economic activities in general and exporting in particular? Are there specific sectoral patterns (e.g., manufacturing vs. services) or systematic differences across hosting countries? What are their distinguishing factors (e.g., relative size, productivity, age, etc.)? For those SMEs already selling abroad, how does the distribution of export intensities look like? Are SMEs trading services different? How important are born-global SMEs? What are the differences between these SMEs and other SMEs? What procedures are applied for the acquisition and adoption of technology and know-how? Does innovation matter for internationalization? What roles does collaboration with research centers play? Can product and process certification make a difference? What are the modes of entry into foreign markets and what is their relative importance for SMEs? To what extent does participation in global value chains account for the internationalization of the SMEs? Do SMEs need to grow or is their size a key to success? What are the main barriers faced by the SMEs in growing and internationalizing? To what extent have ICTs helped reduce information obstacles for SMEs? What is the contribution of social and business networks? What kind of influence do informality and access to financing and technology have? How does internationalization affect SMEs’ performance (e.g., productivity)? Does this effect depend on the characteristics of the SMEs or the specific international activity they carry out?
The Policy Perspective in LAC: Do general public policies such as those concerning access and cost of infrastructure services, tariffs, labor regimes, customs procedures, and environmental regulations have heterogeneous effects across firm size categories? Are the impact of public interventions such as trade, technological change and innovation, and linkages promotion different across these firms’ groups? How do the effects of public schemes supporting financial needs associated with the internationalization distribute across size segments? What is the economic rationale of public programs targeting SMEs in general and their internationalization in particular? How aware are SMEs of these programs? What is the actual rate of use? Are specific actions more cost-effective than others? Does the specific combination of policy instruments matter for their effectiveness? Do online tools help? Is it justified to have programs with an explicit regional dimension? Are there better institutional arrangements to manage these instruments? What role do/can international organizations in general and regional development banks in particular play in supporting the internationalization of the SMEs? What are the initiatives of the private sector (e.g., by chambers of commerce and private transnational networks in general) in this area? What are their effects? How well coordinated are these actions with the respective public actions?
Both theoretical and empirical contributions will be considered, but in all cases priority will be given to papers identifying and shedding light on relevant policy questions such as those outlined above, including case studies of policies followed by national or international organizations, in particular. Furthermore, submission of papers that explicitly contrast successful and failed cases while comparing countries within the region will be specially considered. Important lessons are expected to be drawn from these contributions for Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The closing date for submissions is October 15th, 2013.
Please submit your paper to:
The works selected by the Editorial Committee will be published in Issue 37 of the Integration & Trade Journal in December 2013.
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