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Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms

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  • Johnson, Robert C.

Abstract

This paper estimates a heterogeneous firms trade model using sector level data on export participation, trade flows, and unit value prices in a multi-country setting. Examining within-exporter variation in prices across destinations, prices are increasing in the difficulty of entering the destination market in the majority of sectors. This pattern is consistent with models in which product quality is positively correlated with firm size. However, prices decrease in export thresholds in some large sectors, including autos, apparel, and electronics. I discuss the causes and consequences of this cross-sector heterogeneity. From an accounting perspective, selection into exporting explains a small fraction of overall price variation, but accounts for nearly half of variation in bilateral trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 43-56

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:86:y:2012:i:1:p:43-56

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

Related research

Keywords: Heterogeneous firms; Export prices; Product quality;

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References

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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Baldwin, Richard & Harrigan, James, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6368, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
  4. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  5. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2011. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 628, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  6. Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2010. "BACI: International Trade Database at the Product-Level. The 1994-2007 Version," Working Papers 2010-23, CEPII research center.
  7. Paulo Bastos & Joana Silva, . "The Quality of a Firm’s Exports: Where you Export to Matters," Discussion Papers 08/18, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  8. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530, 05.
  9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Amit Khandelwal, 2009. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," NBER Working Papers 15178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  12. Helble, Matthias & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2008. "Heterogeneous quality firms and trade costs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4550, The World Bank.
  13. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  14. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
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