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Wholesalers in international trade

  • Crozet, Matthieu
  • Lalanne, Guy
  • Poncet, Sandra

Recent empirical research in international trade has revealed overwhelming evidence that, in all countries, a remarkably small proportion of firms report exports in Customs statistics. However, a large share of these are wholesalers. This suggests that the number of producers selling their products abroad might be much greater than that suggested by a simple count of the firms directly reporting their exports. This paper sheds light on the role of wholesalers in international trade. Our model uses very general assumptions to show that intermediated exporters may contribute significantly to the extension of countries' export opportunities. The model predicts a twofold role in international trade. First, wholesalers alleviate the difficulty of reaching less-accessible markets. Second, they help less-efficient firms to supply foreign markets, thus increasing the number of exported varieties at the aggregate level. We use French firm-level export data to provide empirical support for these two predictions.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 58 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-17

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:58:y:2013:i:c:p:1-17
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  1. 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.
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  8. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
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  10. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 09-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Shang-Jin Wei & Jaebin Ahn & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2010. "The Role of Intermediaries in Facilitating Trade," Working Papers id:2557, eSocialSciences.
  12. Julien Martin, 2009. "Spatial Price Discrimination in International Markets," Working Papers 2009-21, CEPII research center.
  13. Boumellassa, Houssein & Debucquet, David Laborde & Mitaritonna, Cristina, 2009. "A picture of tariff protection across the World in 2004: MAcMap-HS6, Version 2," IFPRI discussion papers 903, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Martin, Julien, 2012. "Markups, quality, and transport costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 777-791.
  15. Akerman, Anders, 2010. "A Theory on the Role of Wholesalers in International Trade based on Economies of Scope," Research Papers in Economics 2010:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  16. Jennifer Abel-Koch, 2011. "Firm Size and the Choice of Export Mode," Working Papers 1105, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 29 Mar 2011.
  17. Bernardo S. Blum & Sebastian Claro & Ignatius Horstmann, 2010. "Facts and Figures on Intermediated Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 419-23, May.
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