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Wholesalers in international trade

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  • Crozet, Matthieu
  • Lalanne, Guy
  • Poncet, Sandra

Abstract

Recent empirical research in international trade has revealed overwhelming evidence that, in all countries, a remarkably small proportion of firms report exports in Customs statistics. However, a large share of these are wholesalers. This suggests that the number of producers selling their products abroad might be much greater than that suggested by a simple count of the firms directly reporting their exports. This paper sheds light on the role of wholesalers in international trade. Our model uses very general assumptions to show that intermediated exporters may contribute significantly to the extension of countries' export opportunities. The model predicts a twofold role in international trade. First, wholesalers alleviate the difficulty of reaching less-accessible markets. Second, they help less-efficient firms to supply foreign markets, thus increasing the number of exported varieties at the aggregate level. We use French firm-level export data to provide empirical support for these two predictions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 58 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-17

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:58:y:2013:i:c:p:1-17

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

Related research

Keywords: Wholesalers; International trade; Intermediated exports; Heterogeneous firms; Quality;

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References

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  1. Fergal McCann, 2010. "Indirect Exporters," Working Papers 2010-22, CEPII research center.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Intermediaries in international trade : Direct versus indirect modes of export," Working Paper Research 199, National Bank of Belgium.
  3. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Jung, Benjamin, 2011. "Trade intermediation and the organization of exporters," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 331, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  4. Julien Martin, 2010. "Markups, Quality and Transport Costs," Working Papers 2010-17, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2010. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 99, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2010.
  6. Jennifer Abel-Koch, 2011. "Firm Size and the Choice of Export Mode," Working Papers 1105, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 29 Mar 2011.
  7. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
  8. Dimitra Petropoulou, 2011. "Information costs, networks and intermediation in international trade," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 76, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  9. Crozet, Matthieu & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2009. "Quality Sorting And Trade: Firm-Level Evidence For French Wine," Working Papers 53883, American Association of Wine Economists.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  11. Boumellassa, Houssein & Debucquet, David Laborde & Mitaritonna, Cristina, 2009. "A picture of tariff protection across the World in 2004: MAcMap-HS6, Version 2," IFPRI discussion papers 903, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Akerman, Anders, 2010. "A Theory on the Role of Wholesalers in International Trade based on Economies of Scope," Research Papers in Economics 2010:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  13. JaeBin Ahn & Amit K. Khandelwal & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "The Role of Intermediaries in Facilitating Trade," NBER Working Papers 15706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bernardo S. Blum & Sebastian Claro & Ignatius Horstmann, 2010. "Facts and Figures on Intermediated Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 419-23, May.
  15. Antras, Pol & Costinot, Arnaud, 2011. "Intermediated Trade," Scholarly Articles 4784024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Benjamin R. Mandel, 2010. "Heterogeneous firms and import quality: evidence from transaction-level prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 991, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cheptea, Angela & Emlinger, Charlotte & Latouche, Karine, 2012. "Multinational Retailers and Home Country Exports," 2012: New Rules of Trade?, December 2012, San Diego, California 142777, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  2. Marcio Cruz, 2014. "Do Export Promotion Agencies Promote New Exporters?," IDB Publications 85293, Inter-American Development Bank.
  3. Latouche, Karine & Rouviere, Elodie, 2011. "Brokers vs. Retailers: Evidence from the French Imports Industry of Fresh Produce," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114398, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Michele Imbruno, 2014. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs and Firm Efficiency: Direct versus Indirect Modes of Import," Discussion Papers 2014-02, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  5. Jonathan Timmis, 2013. "Internet Adoption and Firm Exports in Developing Economies," Discussion Papers 2013-05, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  6. Horst Raff & Natalia Trofimenko, 2013. "World Market Access of Emerging-Market Firms: the Role of Foreign Ownership and Access to External Finance," Kiel Working Papers 1848, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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