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Intermediation in Foreign Trade: When Do Exporters Rely on Intermediaries?

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  • Philipp J. H. Schröder
  • Harald Trabold
  • Parvati Trübswetter

Abstract

The paper explores theoretically and empirically why trade intermediaries (TIs) are frequently used as agents for exports to some countries but not to others. We adapt a standard intra-industry trade model with variable export costs (e.g. transport) and fixed export costs (e.g. market access) to include a TI that is able to pool market access cost. From this framework explanatory factors for the TI share in a country's exports are derived and subsequently tested with a new data set based on French customs information. The paper finds that: (i) higher market access costs increase the TI share, (ii) smaller export markets feature a larger TI share, (iii) the TI share is independent from variable (distance-dependent) export costs.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.40234.de/dp336.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 336.

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Length: 20 p.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp336

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Keywords: trade intermediation; indirect exports; transaction costs; monopolistic competition;

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References

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  1. Anthony Venables, 1994. "Integration and the export behaviour of firms: Trade costs, trade volumes and welfare," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 118-132, March.
  2. Venables, Anthony J, 1987. "Trade and Trade Policy with Differentiated Products: A Chamberlinian-Ricardian Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 700-717, September.
  3. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daniel F. Spulber, 1996. "Market Microstructure and Intermediation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 135-152, Summer.
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  6. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  7. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  8. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
  9. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
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  11. Gordon H. Hanson & Robert C. Feenstra, 2001. "Intermediaries in Entrepot Trade: Hong Kong Re-Exports of Chinese Goods," NBER Working Papers 8088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  13. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  14. Zhihao Yu, 2002. "Entrepreneurship and intra-industry trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 277-290, June.
  15. Mike W Peng & Anne Y Ilinitch, 1998. "Export Intermediary Firms: A Note on Export Development Research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(3), pages 609-620, September.
  16. Baye, Michael R & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1990. "Choosing Sides in Matching Games: Nash Equilibria and Comparative Statics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(227), pages 283-93, August.
  17. Hackett, Steven C., 1992. "A comparative analysis of merchant and broker intermediation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 299-315, August.
  18. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "How Far Will International Economic Integration Go?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 177-186, Winter.
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Cited by:
  1. Latouche, Karine & Rouviere, Elodie, 2012. "Brokers vs. Retailers: Evidence from the French Imports Industry of Fresh Produce," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 123331, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Jennifer Abel-Koch, . "Who uses intermediaries in international trade? Evidence from firm-level survey data," Discussion Papers 11/25, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  3. Jens Krüger, 2009. "How Do Firms Organize Trade? Evidence from Ghana," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers, Kiel Institute for the World Economy 449, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Jung, Benjamin, 2008. "Trade intermediaries, incomplete contracts, and the choice of export modes," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 317, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.

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