Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Kim Jensen

Committee Members

John Brooker, Greg Pompelli


Previous studies have used general industrial firm-level data to examine barriers faced by a variety of firm types. However, no previous studies have used primary firm-level data to examine the export barriers faced by agribusinesses that export high value products (HVPs). In this study the barriers to exporting perceived by U.S. HVP firms are examined, as well as the role of firm characteristics and export market strategies on influencing those perceptions. Secondly, this study develops a better understanding of the export assistance needs of exporters of HVPs and examines whether those needs vary with the size of the firm and the amount of exporting experience. The results from this study suggest that perceptions about barriers vary across firm characteristics and strategies. Particularly, targeting of assistance by firm characteristics and strategies would be most effective for overcoming barriers, such as selecting agents or distributors, obtaining foreign market information, overcoming financial risks in foreign markets, and obtaining credit or capital to finance export. Also, there were significant differences between a number of the responses showing that firm size and export experience may be a deciding factor on the perception of certain assistance needs. In particular, small and/or inexperienced firms are more likely to find all assistance needs as stronger needs than medium or large sized firms and/or moderately or highly experienced firms. Overall, the results suggest that specialized targeting of assistance by firm characteristics, particularly size and export experience, and export strategies are necessary to help exporters overcome perceived barriers to exporting and compete in the world market.

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