Ernesto Cassetta, Linda Meleo, Marco Pini

The role of digitalization in the internationalization of Italian manufacturing firms

  • Abstract

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Keywords: ICT; Digitalization; Exports; Manufacturing Firms; Internationalization.

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the influence of digitisation on the internationalization process. Estimates based on a sample of Italian manufacturing firms provide econometric evidence supporting the hypothesis that adoption and use of digital technologies affect enterprises' exporting behaviour. In particular, the front-end digital technologies, such as web site, social network, e-commerce, have a much higher effect on the decision to export than those integrated with operational processes (electronic information sharing, rfid, eInvoices, etc.). ICT competences and training investments to upgrade digital skills have a not significant influence as well. If innovation characteristics are considered, firms introducing organizational innovation together with front-end digital technologies are more likely to export. Some policy implications of the study are finally discussed.

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