Working Paper: California's Exports and the 2004 Overseas Office Closures
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Because of an endogeneity problem, estimating the impact of state export promotion programs on exports is difficult. The 2003 California budget crisis provides a natural experiment, circumventing this problem. Due to the crisis, California closed all 12 overseas oces on January 1, 2004. Applying the differences-in-differences estimator to a sample of 44 countries over eight years yields mixed results. The estimated 0.02% increase in exports if the offices remained open is not robust. Therefore, any impact of California's overseas offices on exports is roughly the size of the largest random fluctuations.