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Firms in International Trade

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  • Bernard, Andrew
  • Jensen, J Bradford
  • Redding, Stephen J
  • Schott, Peter

Abstract

Despite the fact that importing and exporting are extremely rare firm activities, economists generally devote little attention to the role of firms when discussing international trade. This paper summarizes key differences between trading and non-trading firms, demonstrates how these differences present a challenge to standard trade models and shows how recent 'heterogeneous-firm' models of international trade address these challenges. We then make use of transaction-level U.S. trade data to introduce a number of new stylized facts about firms and trade. These facts reveal that the extensive margins of trade - that is, the number of products firms trade as well as the number of countries with which they trade - are central to understanding the well-known role of distance in dampening aggregate trade flows.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6277.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6277

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Keywords: heterogeneous firms; international trade; new trade theory; old trade theory;

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References

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  1. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 41, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  3. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
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  9. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter.K Schott, 2006. "Multi-product firms and product switching," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 3687, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  27. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
  28. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Trade costs, firms and productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 917-937, July.
  29. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2002. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," NBER Working Papers 9023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  31. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning By Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence From Colombia, Mexico, And Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947, August.
  32. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
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  34. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Thinking about the firm-size distribution
    by jdingel in Trade Diversion on 2012-05-27 13:05:07
  2. Thinking about the firm-size distribution
    by jdingel in Trade Diversion on 2012-05-27 13:05:07
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