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Market size, competition, and the product mix of exporters

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  • Gianmarco Ottaviano

    (Università di Bologna)

  • Marc J. Melitz

    (Department of Economics)

  • Thierry Mayer

    (Département d'économie)

Abstract

We build a theoretical model of multi-product firms that highlights how market size and ge- ography (the market sizes of and bilateral economic distances to trading partners) affect both a firm's exported product range and its exported product mix across market destinations (the dis- tribution of sales across products for a given product range). We show how tougher competition in an export market induces a firm to skew its export sales towards its best performing products. We find very strong confirmation of this competitive effect for French exporters across export market destinations. Trade models based on exogenous markups cannot explain this strong sig- nificant link between destination market characteristics and the within-firm skewness of export sales (after controlling for bilateral trade costs). Theoretically, this within firm change in prod- uct mix driven by the trading environment has important repercussions on firm productivity and how it responds to changes in that trading environment.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8m210prh.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8m210prh

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References

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  1. Costas Arkolakis & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2010. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Francis Kramarz & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2005 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Corocs Gregory & Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I P. Ottaviano, 2009. "Productivity and firm selection: quantifying the "new" gains from trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 33249, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Bernard, Andrew & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J & Schott, Peter, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  7. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  9. Stephen J Redding & Peter K Schott & Andrew B Bernard, 2007. "Multi-product Firms and Trade Liberalization," 2007 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 44, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Robert Feenstra & Hong Ma, 2007. "Optimal Choice of Product Scope for Multiproduct Firms under Monopolistic Competition," NBER Working Papers 13703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit K. Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik, 2012. "Prices, Markups and Trade Reform," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. 1403, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  12. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2007. "Structural gravity equations with intensive and extensive margins," EconomiX Working Papers 2007-36, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  13. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2007. "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms New facts based on firm-level evidence," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10147, Sciences Po.
  14. Eckel, Carsten & Neary, J Peter, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5941, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2006. "Globalization and Endogenous Firm Scope," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  16. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2009. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," NBER Working Papers 15628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1.
  18. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2011. "Gravity, market potential and economic development," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 281-294, March.
  19. Paul Allanson & Catia Montagna, 1999. "Multiproduct Firms and Market Structure: An Explorative Application to the Product Life Cycle," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics, Economic Studies, University of Dundee 101, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  20. James Harrigan & Haiyan Deng, 2008. "China's Local Comparative Advantage," NBER Working Papers 13963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2009. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 557-592 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
  23. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10147 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Iacovone, Leonardo & Javorcik, Beata S., 2008. "Multi-product exporters : diversification and micro-level dynamics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4723, The World Bank.
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