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Intermediaries in International Trade: Direct versus indirect modes of export

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  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Marco Grazzi
  • Chiara Tomasi

Abstract

This paper examines the factors that give rise to intermediaries in exporting and explores the implications for trade volumes. Export intermediaries such as wholesalers serve different markets and export different products than manufacturing exporters. In particular, high market-specific fixed costs of exporting, the (lack of) quality of the general contracting environment and product-specific factors play important roles in explaining the existence of export intermediaries. These underlying differences between direct and intermediary exporters have important consequences for trade flows. The ability of export intermediaries to overcome country and product fixed costs means that they can more easily respond along the extensive margin to external shocks. Intermediaries and direct exporters respond differently to exchange rate fluctuations both in terms of the total value of shipments and the number of products exported as well as in terms of prices and quantities. Aggregate exports to destinations with high shares of indirect exports are much less responsive to changes in the real exchange rate than are exports to countries served primarily by direct exporters.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17711.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17711

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References

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  1. de Sousa, José & Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2012. "Market Access in Global and Regional Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 9085, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Dimitra Petropoulou, 2011. "Information costs, networks and intermediation in international trade," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 76, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  13. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "A concordance between ten-digit U.S. Harmonized System codes and SIC/NAICS product classes and industries," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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