Education, Innovation, Stage of Activity and the Recent Economic Crisis as Key Factors of Internationalization: An Empirical Analysis of the Spanish Entrepreneurs Using the GEM Database

Ignacio López Domínguez, Carmen Lafuente, Carlos Poza


The aim of this article is to analyze the impact of employees’ level of education, productive innovation, stage of activity and the current economic downturn on the degree of internationalization of Spanish firms, taking into consideration some variables such as company size or sector. This analysis is carried out by means of the Spanish Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) database for 2006 (pre-crisis), 2010 and 2011 (crisis). The results show that the firms with higher education employees, the organizations that innovate in their production process and the early stage companies present a higher likelihood of exporting than the rest of the firms. Furthermore, it is empirically analyzed that the recent recession is having a negative influence on export activity of firms.


Education, economic crisis, innovation, internationalization of firms, stage of activity.

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