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Temporary trade and heterogeneous firms

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  • Békés, Gábor
  • Muraközy, Balázs

Abstract

Using Hungarian firm-transaction level export data, we show that about one third of firm–destination and about one half of firm–product–destination export spells are short-lived, or temporary, each year. This is in odds with theories where comparative advantage is stable and market entry costs are sunk. We show how endogenous choice between variable and sunk cost trade technologies can explain the empirical importance and some characteristics of temporary trade. We build a model in which the likelihood of temporary trade depends on productivity and capital cost of the firm as well as well-known gravity variables of destinations. These predictions are borne out by the data; the likelihood of permanent trade, defined by a simple filter, rises with firm productivity, financial stability, proximity and GDP of destination countries.

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  • Békés, Gábor & Muraközy, Balázs, 2012. "Temporary trade and heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 232-246.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:87:y:2012:i:2:p:232-246
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.12.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Aeberhardt, Romain & Buono, Ines & Fadinger, Harald, 2014. "Learning, incomplete contracts and export dynamics: Theory and evidence from French firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 219-249.
    2. Ingo Geishecker & Philipp J. H. Schröder & Allan S⊘rensen, 2019. "One‐off export events," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(1), pages 93-131, February.
    3. Tomohiko Inui & Keiko Ito & Daisuke Miyakawa, 2017. "Export Experience, Product Differentiation and Firm Survival in Export Markets," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 217-231, June.
    4. Joakim Gullstrand & Maria Persson, 2015. "How to combine high sunk costs of exporting and low export survival," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 151(1), pages 23-51, February.
    5. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David, 2014. "Managers' mobility, trade performance, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 85-101.
    6. Kurz, Christopher & Senses, Mine Z., 2016. "Importing, exporting, and firm-level employment volatility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 160-175.
    7. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David & Sforza, Alessandro, 2016. "The Diffusion of Knowledge via Managers' Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 11706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Enrique Moral-Benito, 2013. "Agglomeration Matters for Trade," 2013 Meeting Papers 85, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Straume, Hans-Martin & Asche, Frank, 2015. "Duration and temporary trade," Working Papers in Economics 04/15, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    10. Dick Nuwamanya Kamuganga, 2012. "The Linkage between Outcome Differences in Cotton Production and Rural Roads Improvements - A Matching Approach," IHEID Working Papers 15-2012, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    11. Kropf, Andreas & Sauré, Philip, 2014. "Fixed costs per shipment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 166-184.
    12. Csaba, László, 2013. "Kérdőjelek a közgazdaságtanban és oktatásában [Challenges in economic research and education]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 47-63.
    13. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Ito, Tadashi & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2017. "On the stability of intra-industry trade," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-12.
    14. Jeffrey J. Reimer & Xin Zhang, 2018. "An economic model of search and matching in international trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 784-800, September.
    15. Békés, Gábor & Halpern, László & Muraközy, Balázs, 2013. "Külkereskedelem és a vállalatok közötti különbségek [Heterogeneous firms and foreign trade]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 1-24.
    16. Wagner, Joachim, 2015. "Trade Dynamics and Trade Costs: First Evidence from the Exporter and Importer Dynamics Database for Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 423, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Export; Hungary; Trade instability; Fixed cost;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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