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Indirect exports and wholesalers: Evidence from interfirm transaction network data

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  • Fujii, Daisuke
  • Ono, Yukako
  • Saito, Yukiko Umeno

Abstract

A substantial fraction of international trade is facilitated by wholesalers, who enable manufacturers to indirectly export their products to foreign markets. Using large-scale Japanese interfirm transaction network data, this paper investigates the features of both direct and indirect exporters as well as international wholesalers. As predicted by a simple Melitz-type trade model with indirect export alternative, the sorting pattern is confirmed in our data, and the distributions of sales and labor productivity are ordered for direct, indirect, and non-exporters in terms of first order stochastic dominance. Multinomial logit analysis is also consistent with the model, which assumes lower fixed cost and higher marginal cost for indirect exporters compared to direct exporters. We also find that the number of suppliers raises the probability of direct exporting implying a cost sharing mechanism of firms with more suppliers. On the other hand, the number of customers raises the probability of exporting in general (both indirect and direct) implying a higher product appeal and broader demand base for firms who have more customers.

Suggested Citation

  • Fujii, Daisuke & Ono, Yukako & Saito, Yukiko Umeno, 2017. "Indirect exports and wholesalers: Evidence from interfirm transaction network data," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 35-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:japwor:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:35-47
    DOI: 10.1016/j.japwor.2017.11.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Wholesalers and Retailers in US Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 408-413, May.
    2. Pol Antras & Davin Chor & Thibault Fally & Russell Hillberry, 2012. "Measuring the Upstreamness of Production and Trade Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 412-416, May.
    3. Enghin Atalay & Ali Horta?su & Chad Syverson, 2014. "Vertical Integration and Input Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1120-1148, April.
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Intermediaries in International Trade: direct versus indirect modes of export," LEM Papers Series 2010/19, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    5. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2010. "Wholesalers and Retailers in US Trade (Long Version)," CEPR Discussion Papers 7642, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Ahn, JaeBin & Khandelwal, Amit K. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "The role of intermediaries in facilitating trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-85, May.
    7. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    8. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    9. Crozet, Matthieu & Lalanne, Guy & Poncet, Sandra, 2013. "Wholesalers in international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-17.
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    Cited by:

    1. ITO Tadashi & NAKAMURA Ryohei & MORITA Manabu, 2017. "Wholesalers, Indirect Exports, Geography, and Economies of Scope: Evidence from firm transaction data in Japan," Discussion papers 17114, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Magne Mogstad & Emmanuel Dhyne & Ayumu Kikkawa & Felix Tintelnot, 2017. "Trade and Domestic Production Networks," 2017 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. ITO Tadashi & SAITO Yukiko, 2018. "Indirect Trade and Direct Trade: Evidence from Japanese firm transaction data," Discussion papers 18065, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. LI Zhigang & WEI Shang-Jin & ZHANG Hongyong, 2018. "Production Chains, Exchange Rate Shocks, and Firm Performance," Discussion papers 18058, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indirect export; Wholesale; Network; Mode of export; Firm heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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