Abstract Recent empirical studies which utilize plant- or establishment-level data to examine globalization's impact on productivity have discovered many causal mechanisms involved in globalization's impact on firms’ productivity. Because these pathways have been broad, there have been few attempts to summarize the several and detailed mechanisms of self-selection and learning at the same time. This paper examines seven pathways so that the clear-cut consequences of the broad picture of globalization become visible. This strategy is useful for detecting missing links within and across the existing studies as well as for finding possible synergy effects among different mechanisms. Insightful policy implications may be derived from the comprehensive comparisons between the seven different pathways of globalization.