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Heterogeneous Exporter Behaviour: Exploring the Evidence for Sunk-Costs and Hysteresis

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  • Anne Marie Gleeson

    ()
    (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Frances Ruane

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

Abstract

Recent economic literature suggests the importance of sunk costs and hysteresis in explaining export patterns in international trade. To explore their empirical importance, we present a new conceptual framework that distinguishes six different types of exporter behaviour, and apply this framework to a unique longitudinal data set on Irish manufacturing. Our analysis allows us to identify significant numbers of manufacturers who engage in ?exporter re-switching behaviour?. The magnitude of these numbers leads us to question the widespread importance of sunk costs. In response to export-market shocks, we find strong evidence of both heterogeneous exporter responses and hysteresis.

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File URL: http://www.esri.ie/UserFiles/publications/20070927144440/WP196.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP196.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp196

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Keywords: heterogeneous exporters; sunk costs; re-switching behaviour;

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  1. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," CEP Discussion Papers dp0643, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hansson, Pär & Lundin, Nan Nan, 2003. "Exports as an Indicator on or Promoter of Successful Swedish Manufacturing Firms in the 1990s," Working Paper Series 189, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  6. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
  7. 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.
  8. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-54, November.
  9. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  10. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
  11. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Anne Marie Gleeson & Frances Ruane, 2007. "Irish Manufacturing Export Dynamics: Evidence of Exporter Heterogeneity in Boom and Slump Periods," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 143(2), pages 375-388, July.
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