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Carry-Along Trade

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  • Bernard, Andrew B.
  • Blanchard, Emily
  • van Beveren, Ilke
  • Vandenbussche, Hylke

Abstract

Large multi-product firms dominate international trade flows. This paper documents new facts about multi-product manufacturing exporters that are not easily reconciled with existing multi-product models. Using novel linked production and export data at the firm-product level, we find that the overwhelming majority of manufacturing firms export products that they do not produce. Three quarters of the exported products and thirty percent of export value from Belgian manufacturers are in goods that are not produced by the firm, so-called Carry-Along Trade (CAT). The number of CAT products is strongly increasing in firm productivity while the number of produced products that are exported is weakly increasing in firm productivity. We propose a general model of production and sourcing at multi-product firms. While the baseline model fails to reconcile the relationships between firm productivity and the numbers of exported products observed in the data, several demand and supply-side extensions to the model are more successful. Looking at export price data, we find support for a novel theoretical extension based on demand-scope complementarities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9067.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9067

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Keywords: demand-scope complementarity; exporting; heterogeneous firms; intermediation; multi-product firms; productivity; sourcing;

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References

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  1. Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2011. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," Development Working Papers 316, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Dimitra Petropoulou, 2008. "Information Costs, Networks and Intermediation in International Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0848, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2012. "Intermediaries in International Trade: Direct Versus Indirect Modes of Export," CEP Discussion Papers dp1137, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8m210prh is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit K. Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik, 2012. "Prices, Markups and Trade Reform," NBER Working Papers 17925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Costas Arkolakis & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2010. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Peter K. Schott & Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding, 2005. "Products and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Shang-Jin Wei & Jaebin Ahn & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2010. "The Role of Intermediaries in Facilitating Trade," Working Papers id:2557, eSocialSciences.
  10. Monika Mrázová & J. Peter Neary, 2012. "Selection effects with heterogeneous firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51521, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Eckel, Carsten & Neary, J Peter, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5941, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. James E. Rauch & Joel Watson, 2004. "Network Intermediaries in International Trade," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 69-93, 03.
  13. Foster, Lucia & Haltiwanger, John C. & Syverson, Chad, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," IZA Discussion Papers 1705, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Thierry Mayer, . "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 12, December.
  15. Ali Hortacsu & Chad Syverson, 2009. "Why Do Firms Own Production Chains?," Working Papers 09-31, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  16. Eckel, Carsten & Iacovone, Leonardo & Javorcik, Beata & Neary, J Peter, 2011. "Multi-Product Firms at Home and Away: Cost- versus Quality-based Competence," CEPR Discussion Papers 8186, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Leonardo Iacovone & BeataS. Javorcik, 2010. "Multi-Product Exporters: Product Churning, Uncertainty and Export Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 481-499, 05.
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