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Demand Uncertainty: Exporting Delays and Exporting Failures

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  • Daniel X. Nguyen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

This paper presents a model of trade that explains why firms wait to export and why many exporters fail. Firms face uncertain demands that are only realized after the firm enters the destination. The model retools the timing of uncertainty resolution found in productivity heterogeneity models. This retooling addresses several shortcomings. First, the imperfect correlation of demands reconciles the sales variation observed in and across destinations. Second, since demands for the firm's output are correlated across destinations, a firm can use previously realized demands to forecast unknown demands in untested destinations. The option to forecast demands causes firms to delay exporting in order to gather more information about foreign demand. Third, since uncertainty is resolved after entry, many firms enter a destination and then exit after learning that they cannot profit. This prediction reconciles the high rate of exit seen in the first years of exporting. Finally, when faced with multiple countries in which to export, some firms will choose to sequentially export in order to slowly learn more about its chances for success in untested markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 10-17.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1017

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Keywords: firm heterogeneity; exporting; trade failures; trade delay;

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References

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  1. Alfonso A. Irarrazabal & Luca David Opromolla, 2008. "A Theory of Entry and Exit into Exports Markets," Working Papers w200820, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
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  14. Martina Lawless & Karl Whelan, 2008. "Where Do Firms Export, How Much, and Why?," Working Papers 200821, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  15. Christian Gormsen, 2012. "Intransparent Markets and Intra-Industry Trade," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00678264, HAL.
  16. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2002. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," NBER Working Papers 9023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Jakob R. Munch & Daniel X., 2008. "Decomposing Firm-level Sales Variation," EPRU Working Paper Series 2009-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Jun 2009.
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