Fast and Furious or Slow and Cautious? The Joint Impact of Age at Internationalization, Speed, and Risk Diversity on the Survival of Exporting Firms


  • Meschi Pierre-Xavier
  • Ricard Antonin
  • Tapia Ernesto


  • Sequential expansion
  • Market expansion speed
  • Risk diversity
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises
  • International new venture
  • Age at internationalization
  • Event-history method

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This article examines the effect of age at internationalization and pace of internationalization on the survival of small and medium-sized enterprises. Two sets of hypotheses are developed on the basis of the sequential expansion and international new venture approaches. These hypotheses are tested using an event-history method and panel data on French SMEs that exported for the first time between 2003 and 2012 (547 firm-year observations). The results show that the failure rate for firms adopting the late, slow, and cautious sequential expansion approach is significantly lower than in small firms adopting other paths to internationalization.

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