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Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods

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  • J. Bradford Jensen
  • Andrew Bernard
  • Peter Schott

Abstract

This paper provides an integrated view of globally engaged U.S. firms by exploring a newly developed dataset that links U.S. international trade transactions to longitudinal data on U.S. enterprises. These data permit examination of a number of new dimensions of firm activity, including how many products firms trade, how many countries firms trade with, the characteristics of those countries, the concentration of trade across firms, whether firms transact at arms length or with related parties, and whether firms import as well as export. Firms that trade goods play an important role in the U.S., employing more than a third of the U.S. workforce. We find that the most globally engaged U.S. firms, i.e. those that both export to and import from related parties, dominate U.S. trade flows and employment at trading firms. We also find that firms that begin trading between 1993 and 2000 experience especially rapid employment growth and are a major force in overall job creation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 05-20.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:05-20

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Keywords: Exporters; Importers; Multinationals; Related-Party Trade;

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References

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  1. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan & Szeidl, Adam, 2004. "Optimal Integration: Strategies for the Multinational Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 4477, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1999. "Exporting and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 7135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Andrew B. Bernard, 2004. "Exporting and Productivity in the USA," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 343-357, Autumn.
  6. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "learning-by-exporting" important? Micro-dynamic evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Megan MacGarvie, 2006. "Do Firms Learn from International Trade?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 46-60, February.
  9. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Vertical Production Networks in Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 664-678, November.
  10. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
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