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Cross-Industry Heterogeneity in Export Participation: The Role of Scale Economies in R&D

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  • Ferguson, Shon

    ()
    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

This paper shows that the R&D intensity of an industry plays an important role in determining international trade patterns via its e¤ect on scale economies. I first develop a model of trade with heterogeneous firms where firms compete with each other by spending on fixed product development costs such as R&D. The model predicts that a larger share of firms are exporters in industries where R&D is a large component of total costs. The model also predicts that R&D-intense industries are less sensitive to trade costs. I find empirical support for these predictions using firm-level data for Swedish manufacturing industries. The results also highlight the importance of controlling for firm size when measuring the firm extensive margin of exports.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 930.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0930

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Keywords: International Trade; Trade Costs; Endogenous Sunk Costs;

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  1. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade liberalization, exports and technology upgrading: Evidence on the impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean firms," Economics Working Papers 1173, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. 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.
  3. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2010. "Structural gravity equations with intensive and extensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 41-62, February.
  4. Baldwin, Richard & Harrigan, James, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6368, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  6. Schmalensee, Richard, 1992. "Sunk Costs and Market Structure: A Review Article," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 125-34, June.
  7. Chen, Natalie & Novy, Dennis, 2011. "Gravity, trade integration, and heterogeneity across industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 206-221.
  8. Maria Bas, 2008. "Trade, Technology Adoption and Wage Inequalities: Theory and Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0902, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Gonzague Vannoorenberghe, 2011. "Trade between symmetric countries, heterogeneous firms, and the skill premium," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 148-170, February.
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