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Institutions and export dynamics

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Author Info

  • Luis Araujo

    ()
    (Michigan State University)

  • Giordano Mion

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Emanuel Ornelas

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

We study the role of contract enforcement in shaping the dynamics of international trade at the firm level. We develop a theoretical model to describe how agents build reputations to overcome the problems created by weak enforcement of international contracts. We find that, all else equal, exporters start their activities with higher volumes and remain as exporters for a longer period in countries with better contracting institutions. However, conditional on survival, the growth rate of a firm’s exports to a country decreases with the quality of the country’s institutions. We test these predictions using a rich panel of Belgium exporting firms from 1995 to 2008 to every country in the world. We adopt two alternative empirical strategies. In one specification we use firm-year fixed effects to control for time-varying firm-specific characteristics. Alternatively, we model selection more explicitly with a two-step Heckman procedure using “extended gravity” variables as our exclusion restrictions. Results from both specifications support our predictions. Overall, our findings suggest that weak contracting institutions cannot be thought simply as an extra sunk or fixed cost to exporting firms; they also significantly affect firms’ trade volumes and have manifold implications for firms’ dynamic patterns in foreign markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 220.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201202-220

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Keywords: Firm Exports; Contract enforcement; Contracting institutions; Firm dynamics;

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References

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  1. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Interfirm Relationships And Informal Credit In Vietnam," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1285-1320, November.
  2. Heiwai Tang & Yifan Zhang, 2012. "Quality Differentiation and Trade Intermediation," Development Working Papers 340, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 13 Nov 2012.
  3. Luis Araujo & Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Trust-Based Trade," IBMEC RJ Economics Discussion Papers 2005-08, Economics Research Group, IBMEC Business School - Rio de Janeiro.
  4. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  5. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2006. "Trade, inequality, and the political economy of institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3836, The World Bank.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Intermediaries in International Trade: direct versus indirect modes of export," Department of Economics Working Papers 1016, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  7. Shang-Jin Wei & Jaebin Ahn & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2010. "The Role of Intermediaries in Facilitating Trade," Working Papers id:2557, eSocialSciences.
  8. Hector Calvo & Gregory Corcos & Emanuel Ornelas & Facundo Albornoz, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," 2010 Meeting Papers 1065, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2004. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 04/231, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Romain Aeberhardt & Ines Buono & Harald Fadinger, 2009. "Learning, Incomplete Contracts and Ecport Dynamics: Theory and Evidence from French Firms," Vienna Economics Papers 1006, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  11. Costinot, Arnaud, 2009. "On the origins of comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 255-264, April.
  12. Gwartney, James & Lawson, Robert, 2003. "The concept and measurement of economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 405-430, September.
  13. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600, 05.
  14. Martina Lawless, 2013. "Marginal Distance: Does Export Experience Reduce Firm Trade Costs?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 819-841, November.
  15. repec:stn:sotoec:1003 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Tibor Besedeš & Byung–Cheol Kim & Volodymyr Lugovskyy, 2011. "Export Growth and Credit Constraints," CeFiG Working Papers 16, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 16 Oct 2011.
  17. 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.
  18. Gabriel Felbermayr & Benjamin Jung, 2011. "Trade Intermediation and the Organization of Exporters," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 634-648, 09.
  19. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2008. "The Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," Development Working Papers 267, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  20. Morales, Eduardo & Sheu, Gloria & Zahler, Andrés, 2011. "Gravity and extended gravity: estimating a structural model of export entry," MPRA Paper 30311, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head, 2002. "Illusory Border Effects: Distance Mismeasurement Inflates Estimates of Home Bias in Trade," Working Papers 2002-01, CEPII research center.
  22. Turrini, Alessandro & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2010. "Traders, courts, and the border effect puzzle," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 81-91, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Albornoz, Facundo & Calvo Pardo, Héctor F. & Corcos, Gregory & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2012. "Sequential exporting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 17-31.
  2. Romain Aeberhardt & Ines Buono & Harald Fadinger, 2009. "Learning, Incomplete Contracts and Ecport Dynamics: Theory and Evidence from French Firms," Vienna Economics Papers 1006, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  3. Giordano Mion & Luca David Opromolla, 2011. "Managers’ Mobility, Trade Status, and Wages," Working Papers w201104, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  4. Florian MAYNERIS & Sandra PONCET, 2011. "Entry on difficult export markets by Chinese domestic firms: the role of foreign export spillovers," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011041, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  5. Ariu, Andrea, 2012. "Services Versus Goods Trade: Are They The Same?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9036, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Nathan Nunn & Daniel Trefler, 2013. "Domestic Institutions as a Source of Comparative Advantage," NBER Working Papers 18851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sanne Hiller, 2013. "Does immigrant employment matter for export sales? Evidence from Denmark," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 149(2), pages 369-394, June.
  8. Ojeaga, Paul & Ogundipe, Adeyemi, 2013. "Trade and Institutions: Evidence from Regional Studies," MPRA Paper 50628, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Tibor Besedeš & Byung–Cheol Kim & Volodymyr Lugovskyy, 2011. "Export Growth and Credit Constraints," CeFiG Working Papers 16, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 16 Oct 2011.
  10. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David, 2013. "Managers’ mobility, trade performance, and wages," Working Paper Series 1596, European Central Bank.

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