This research project examines the consequences of firm-level factors on export performance in Finland using a combination of firm and product-level data from both Finland and Sweden. It is interesting to compare the two countries, because Finland competes with many of the same products and in many of the same industries as Sweden. Accordingly, after EU membership, the regulatory environment governing exports from the two countries has become more similar. On the other hand, in the period following the 2008 global economic crisis, export performance and overall economic recovery was notably faster in Sweden than in Finland.
A Finland-Sweden comparison at the firm- and product-levels helps us to understand to what extent the difficulties faced by Finnish exporters are related to product and firm-specific factors and to what extent they are caused by the different cost structures of similar production processes.
This research project draws particular attention to firm-specific factors such as marketing costs and the proportion of employees specialised in sales and marketing. With regards to the export industry, it is important to analyse more precisely the impact of marketing and other firm-specific factors on export performance in the long-run. Especially from the perspective of productivity growth, we need new research on the risks faced by Finnish exporters and how to recover from financial shocks.