International trade performance of New Zealand manufacturing: An industry and enterprise-level study
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This thesis attempts to establish the key factors influencing trade performance at both industry and enterprise-level. The underlying purpose is to consolidate the diverse literature in International Marketing as well as provide new insights. For the industry-level study, trade performance models are developed and tested to explain changes in exports and imports for a cross-section of New Zealand manufacturing industries between 1985 and 1990. Increased exports are associated with larger firm sizes, lower levels of advertising intensity and least trade protection (by either tariff or export subsidy). The largest increases in imports have been in those industries which are relatively highly concentrated, with higher R&D intensities, and higher levels of tariff protection and foreign ownership. The key to raising the export performance of manufacturing in general, seems to lie with increasing the quantity and improving the quality of product-related R&D carried out in New Zealand. A meta-analysis of 111 studies on export performance conducted during the period 1978-1991 was done to identify the key variables at enterprise-level. A multi-case study of 12 small to medium-sized firms, six from the timber processing industry and six from the electrical industrial machinery industry, was conducted to gather data for this section. The key variables identified in the meta-analysis are confirmed. The findings show that firm size drives export growth at both industry and enterprise-level. The study provides new insights on how the export behaviour process operates. Enterprises in both industries behave in a similar manner but there are significant differences in the behaviour between exporters and non-exporters. There is considerable overlap within export strategies among the group of eight exporters thus ruling out export strategy as an explanation for export performance.