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Firm Heterogeneity and the Geography of International Trade

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  • David Greenaway
  • Joakim Gullstrand
  • Richard Kneller

Abstract

A key distinction which has emerged from heterogeneous firm models of international trade is that of exporting at the intensive and extensive margins. Empirically however, the two are often conflated, leading to biased estimates of the impact of falling trade costs. This paper exploits detailed firm level data, which includes information on the destination of exports to investigate causal links between enterprise productivity and the number of markets a firm serves as well as the relative size of those markets. Our focus is Sweden’s Food and Beverage sector, which is not only highly open, but has been subject to policy induced changes in trade costs (as well as falling natural barriers) over our sample period. We have data on almost 10,000 firm / time / destination observations across 6 years and 138 destinations. Our results confirm that conflating adjustment at the internal and external margins does bias trade resistance effects. Combining detailed firm specific information with data on destination characteristics confirms the importance of a range of country specific characteristics (including exchange rate risk) and facilitates the estimation of both distance and market size elasticities, from firm level data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 08/41.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:08/41

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Related research

Keywords: trade costs; firm characteristics; destination characteristics; market size; distance;

References

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  1. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
  2. 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.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1998. "Export Entry and Exit by German Firms," NBER Working Papers 6538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Ekholm, Karolina & Forslid, Rikard & Markusen, James R., 2003. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3823, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting trade: firms, industries, and export destinations," Staff Report 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
  11. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Karpaty, Patrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2011. "Offshoring of Services and Corruption: Do Firms Escape Corrupt Countries?," Working Papers 2011:2, Örebro University, School of Business, revised 28 May 2012.
  2. Tingvall, Patrik, 2011. "Dynamic Effects of Corruption on Offshoring," Ratio Working Papers 182, The Ratio Institute.
  3. Söderlund, Bengt & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2012. "Dynamic Effects of Institutions on Firm-Level Exports," Ratio Working Papers 184, The Ratio Institute.
  4. Yvonne Wolfmayr & Elisabeth Christen & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2013. "Pattern, Determinants and Dynamics of Austrian Service Exports – A Firmlevel Analysis," FIW Research Reports series IV-005, FIW.
  5. Heyman, Fredrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2012. "The Dynamics of Offshoring and Institutions," Working Paper Series 919, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Gullstrand, Joakim & Olofsdotter, Karin & Thede, Susanna, 2011. "Markups and export pricing," Working Papers 2011:37, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  7. Wagner, Joachim, 2011. "Productivity and International Firm Activities: What Do We Know?," IZA Policy Papers 23, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Kokko, Ari & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2012. "The Eurovision Song Contest, Preferences and European Trade," Ratio Working Papers 183, The Ratio Institute.

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