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Firms in international trade

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Author Info

  • Andrew.B Bernard
  • J. Bradford Jensen
  • Stephen Redding
  • Peter K. Schott

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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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/3682/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 3682.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3682

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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
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Related research

Keywords: Economic Geography; International Trade;

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References

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  1. J. Bradford Jensen & Andrew Bernard, 2005. "Firm Structure, Multinationals, and Manufacturing Plant Deaths," Working Papers 05-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 12782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carsten Eckel & J. Peter Neary, 2010. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 188-217.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Product Switching," NBER Working Papers 12293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," NBER Working Papers 7852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Helpman, Elhanan, 2006. "Trade, FDI and the Organization of Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 5589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
  11. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2008. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," NBER Working Papers 13807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Survival of the Best Fit: Exposure to Low-Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of US Manufacturing Plants," Working Paper Series, Peterson Institute for International Economics WP03-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2001. "Market entry costs, producer heterogeneity and export dynamics," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 03-10, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  17. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, 09.
  19. Helpman, Elhanan, 1998. "The Structure of Foreign Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 2020, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  21. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2006. "Globalization and Endogenous Firm Scope," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  22. 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.
  23. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  24. Andrew Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2004. "Comparative advantage and heterogeneous firms," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W04/24, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  25. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  26. repec:rus:hseeco:121669 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  28. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003. "Exporting Raises Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 10020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2004. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1384-1402, December.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  33. 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.
  34. Russell Hillberry & David Hummels, 2005. "Trade Responses to Geographic Frictions: A Decomposition Using Micro-Data," NBER Working Papers 11339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. 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.
  36. Roberto Alvarez & Ricardo López, 2005. "Exporting and performance: evidence from Chilean plants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1384-1400, 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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