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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. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 09-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. 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.
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  9. Dimitra Petropoulou, 2007. "Information Costs, Networks and Intermediation in International Trade," Economics Series Working Papers 370, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  13. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
  14. 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.
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  17. Benjamin R. Mandel, 2010. "Heterogeneous firms and import quality: evidence from transaction-level prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 991, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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