Promoting Exports in Brazil

Last registered on December 10, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Promoting Exports in Brazil
Initial registration date
December 07, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
December 10, 2021, 10:37 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information

Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Geneva School of Business Administration (Haute école de gestion de Genève)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
The international trade literature has shown a strong relationship between exporting and firms’ productivity and profitability. Despite that, the share of exporting firms in several developed and developing countries is relatively low.

The goal of this project is twofold. First, we want to identify the main barriers preventing firms from exporting. Are they related to a misperception of firms’ managers about the true benefit of exporting? Alternatively, do the costs of exporting (red tape, credit constraints, difficulties to reach foreign consumers, etc.) outweigh its benefits? Second, we will evaluate whether low-cost informational interventions can induce firms to engage in exporting activities, and how this decision affects firms’ outcomes.

To achieve these objectives, we will implement a firm-level Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) that involves manufacturing non-exporting firms in Brazil. The RCT will test how online courses about exporting-related procedures can affect firms’ decisions to export and their employment dynamics. The firms in the treatment group will be involved in distinct online training sessions providing information on export impediments: red tape, financial frictions and demand uncertainty. We will also provide consultancy services about how to export for a smaller group of firms. The ultimate goal is to evaluate policies that could promote international trade and economic development.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Depetris Chauvin, Nicolas and Vladimir Ponczek. 2021. "Promoting Exports in Brazil." AEA RCT Registry. December 10.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The project aims to assess whether access to information about benefits and frictions to exporting through different types of online courses and consultancies induce firms to either start exporting or begin preparation for exporting. Moreover, we will determine whether treated firms are more willing to purchase more information on the exporting process. To do so, we will elicit the firms’ willingness to pay for additional exporting consulting services. Furthermore, we want to analyze how the different channels affect firms’ employment dynamics. Do firms hire more workers in preparation for exporting? If so, do they hire more skilled or non-skilled workers? These are all important aspects related to export promotion, and fundamental to understand the costs and benefits of policies targeted at increasing the number of exporters.

Finally, we will consider heterogeneous effects across firms. In particular, we will investigate how firms’ reactions to the treatment vary according to their size and sector of activity. We will also follow an agnostic approach to define other types of heterogeneity to consider.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will implement a firm-level RCT among 1500 small, medium and large firms from Brazil’s manufacturing sector. Since very small firms are highly unlikely to export – and therefore will have little interest in participating in our experiment – we restrict the sample to firms with more than 20 employees (with the possibility of slightly expanding this number depending on the response rate of smaller firms). From this universe, we will randomly select a group of firms that have not exported in the last three years (2018-2020). Then, we will randomly divide the firms in five groups. The first will be our pure control group, while the others will be exposed to different types of treatments. We will expose firms in the treatment group to distinct short course sessions designed to boost firms’ trade engagement: i) Red tape course; ii) Financial constraints course; iii) Demand uncertainty course; iv) All the three previous courses. In sum, our treatment group is composed of four categories. The first three address the bureaucratic, financial and demand uncertainty frictions, respectively. The last group encompasses all the three frictions.

We plan to collect information in three different rounds, one baseline and two follow-ups. The baseline will take place immediately before the treatment takes place. The two follow-ups will happen 6 and 24 months after the treatment.

All courses will be in online and synchronous format through the ZOOM platform. Each course will last six to eight hours. None of the participants will know the difference between the courses. Only one person from each firm will attend the course. For each of the participants, we will create a register with email, login and password to access the course. We will monitor the attendance of each of the participants allowing us to gather information on the presence, time of entry and time of departure of each one of them in the courses. No participation fee will be charged.

After the end of the courses and the other two field surveys are completed, a free, online and asynchronous business course will be offered to the entire sample (treated and control) as a way to encourage firms to fill out the field research forms and attend the main courses. This course will last approximately two hours and will not be associated with export topics to avoid an intention to treat to export by the control group.

We are applying for another grant from Getulio Vargas Foundation, but the result will only be available in March 2022. If we obtain that funding, we will include another follow up in 12 months after the treatment, so that we can have a better insight on medium-term effects. Moreover, with that grant we intend to implement a second intervention that will be more intensive and personalized. This intervention will involve an export promotion consultancy that will be offered for firms during 2023, after the second follow up. It will be an individual online consultancy taught by an expert, lasting four hours.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
We will implement a stratified randomization procedure based on firm size.

We intend to have four treatment arms. A first group will be exposed to red tape course, a second group will be exposed to financial course, a third group to the demand uncertainty course, and the last group will be exposed to all the three courses.

Within each stratum, 20% of the firms will be allocated to each treatment arm or to the control group (no treatment at all).
Randomization Unit
Firm Level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
1500 firms. If we obtain the grant from Getulio Vargas Foundation, we will increase the number of observations from 1500 to 2000 firms. We note that this number may vary substantially, because it will depend on the number of firms that respond to our contact. We plan to contact 6000 firms, and extend that number to 8000 firms if we obtain the additional grant.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1500 firms, with 300 controls and 1200 treated (divided into 4 different arms).

Again, this number can vary significantly depending on the response rate to our contact.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The power calculation indicates a MDE of each treatment arm of 23% of a standard deviation (considering standard parameter values). Considering the average effect of all treatment arms (300 controls and 1200 treated), the MDE is 18%. The MDE calculations do not consider the strata. It considers the sample size of 1500 firms.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Comitê de Conformidade Ética em Pesquisas Envolvendo Seres Humanos - CEPH/FGV
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Number 225/2021