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Exports-performance relationship in Russian manufacturing companies: Does foreign ownership play an enhancing role?

Anna Bykova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)
Felix Lopez-Iturriaga (University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain) (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

Baltic Journal of Management

ISSN: 1746-5265

Article publication date: 15 November 2017

Issue publication date: 3 January 2018




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between export activity and firm performance for a positive impact of foreign direct investments (FDIs). The authors also analyze two possible causes of the effect: technology transfer and financial support. The theoretical background is rooted in the resource-based approach taking into account multinational companies’ perspective and the specifics of emerging markets.


The authors propose testable hypotheses based on a review of the theory. To test the hypotheses, the authors build a sample of over 500 Russian public manufacturing firms covering the period from 2004 to 2014 and estimate regression models. Given concerns about endogeneity, the instrumental variable approach for panel data, using the GMM-estimator, is implemented.


Consistent with the view that FDIs generate spillover effects, the results support the positive impact of foreign ownership on the link between exports and firms’ performance. The results underline the importance of foreign ownership: shareholders from developed countries can provide benefits to exporting companies through transferring advanced technologies and loosening financial constraints by lowering interest and raising availability of bank loans.


The authors provide new insights on the relationship between exports and firm performance. Given our focus on Russia, a market with high potential to draw foreign investments, the research sheds some light on how emerging country firms can benefit from having foreign shareholders with paying attention to geographical distribution of such investments. Specifically, through the overcoming of technological barriers and loosening of financial constraints, the authors show empirically that foreign capital can make up for weak local institutional infrastructure and enhance the company’s returns from internationalization.



The authors are grateful to two anonymous referees, Professor Audra I. Mockaitis (Associate Editor), IDLab members and Philip Jaggs for their comments on previous versions. This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation under Grant No. 15-18-20039.


Bykova, A. and Lopez-Iturriaga, F. (2018), "Exports-performance relationship in Russian manufacturing companies: Does foreign ownership play an enhancing role?", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 20-40.



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