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The buyer margins of firms' exports

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  • Carballo, Jeronimo
  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P.
  • Volpe Martincus, Christian

Abstract

We use detailed data on exporters from Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay as well as on their buyers to show that: aggregate exports are disproportionally driven by few multi-buyers exporters; and each multi-buyer exporter's foreign sales of any product in a given destination are in turn accounted for by a dominant buyer. We propose an analytically solvable multi-country model of endogenous selection in which dominant exporters, dominant products and dominant buyers emerge in parallel as multi-product sellers with heterogeneous technologies compete for buyers with heterogeneous needs. The model not only provides an explanation of the existence of dominant buyers but also makes specific predictions on how the relative importance of dominant buyers should vary across export destinations depending on their market size and accessibility. We show that these predictions are borne out by our data and discuss their welfare implications in terms of gains from trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Carballo, Jeronimo & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2018. "The buyer margins of firms' exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 33-49.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:112:y:2018:i:c:p:33-49
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2018.02.001
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    3. Egger, Peter H. & Erhardt, Katharina & Lassmann, Andrea, 2019. "Immigration and firms’ integration in international production networks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-34.
    4. Carballo, Jeronimo & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2018. "The buyer margins of firms' exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 33-49.
    5. Defever, Fabrice & Fischer, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2016. "Relational contracts and supplier turnover in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 147-165.
    6. Araujo, Luis & Mion, Giordano & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2016. "Institutions and export dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 2-20.
    7. Volpe Martincus, Christian & Carballo, Jerónimo & Graziano, Alejandro, 2015. "Customs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 119-137.
    8. Andrea Ariu & Elena Biewen & Sven Blank & Guillaume Gaulier & María Jesus González & Philipp Meinen & Daniel Mirza & Cesar Martín & Patry Tello, 2019. "Firm heterogeneity and aggregate business services exports: Micro evidence from Belgium, France, Germany and Spain," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 564-589, February.
    9. Sergey G. Kokovin & Shamil Sharapudinov & Alexander Tarasov & Philip Ushchev, 2020. "A Theory of Monopolistic Competition with Horizontally Heterogeneous Consumers," CESifo Working Paper Series 8082, CESifo.
    10. Fariha Kamal & Ryan Monarch, 2018. "Identifying foreign suppliers in U.S. import data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 117-139, February.
    11. Syafruddin CHAN & Mirza TABRANI & Fauziah Aida FITRI, 2019. "Maintaining the Quality of Tuna of Aceh for the Japanese Export Market," Expert Journal of Marketing, Sprint Investify, vol. 7(1), pages 31-41.
    12. Juan de Lucio & Raúl Mínguez & Asier Minondo & Francisco Requena, 2018. "The variation of export prices across and within firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 154(2), pages 327-346, May.
    13. Defever, Fabrice & Fischer, Christian & Suedekum, Jens, 2017. "Supplier search and re-matching in global sourcing: theory and evidence from China," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86605, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Bøler, Esther Ann & Javorcik, Beata & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen Helene, 2018. "Working across time zones: Exporters and the gender wage gap," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 122-133.
    15. Volpe Martincus, Christian & Carballo, Jerónimo & Graziano, Alejandro, 2015. "Customs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 119-137.
    16. Kamal, Fariha & Sundaram, Asha, 2016. "Buyer–seller relationships in international trade: Do your neighbors matter?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 128-140.
    17. Carballo, Jerónimo & Graziano, Alejandro & Schaur, Georg & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2016. "The Border Labyrinth: Information Technologies and Trade in the Presence of Multiple Agencies," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7691, Inter-American Development Bank.
    18. Xu, Jianwei & Du, Qingyuan & Wang, Yaqi, 2019. "Two-sided heterogeneity and exchange rate pass-through," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 1-1.
    19. M. Scott Taylor, "undated". "Trade and the Environment: New Methods, Measurements, and Results NBER Working Paper No. 22636," Working Papers 2016-46, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 01 Dec 2016.
    20. Kramarz, Francis & Martin, Julien & Mejean, Isabelle, 2020. "Volatility in the small and in the large: The lack of diversification in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    21. Clemence Lenoir & Isabelle Mejean & Julien Martin, 2018. "Search Frictions in International Good Markets," 2018 Meeting Papers 878, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Benguria, Felipe, 2021. "The matching and sorting of exporting and importing firms: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm heterogeneity; Taste heterogeneity; Import-export relations; Competition; Selection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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