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Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations

  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Samuel Kortum
  • Francis Kramarz

We examine entry across 113 national markets in 16 different industries using a comprehensive data set of French manufacturing firms. The data are unique in indicating how much each firm exports to each destination. Looking across all manufacturers: (1) Firms differ substantially in export participation, with most selling only at home; (2) The number of firms selling to multiple markets falls off with the number of destinations with an elasticity of ?2.5; (3) Decomposing French exports to each destination into the size of the market and French share, variation in market share translates nearly completely into firm entry while about 60 percent of the variation in market size is reflected in firm entry. Looking within each of 16 industries we find little variation in these patterns. We propose that any successful model of trade and market structure must confront these facts.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 94 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 150-154

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:2:p:150-154
Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828041301560
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  1. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, 09.
  3. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
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