IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Tradability and market penetration costs: Explaining foreign market servicing intensities


  • Schmeiser, Katherine N.
  • Ricaurte, Miguel F.


Industry level data shows striking differences among sectors in ratios of exports to FDI sales. We identify the elements behind the sectoral differences in the mode of foreign market servicing in the context of a general equilibrium model of monopolistic competition. Our calibration exercise shows that traditional margins such as transportation, fixed entry costs, utility weights, and dispersion of firm productivity are not enough to capture the observed sectoral differences, as is commonly assumed. We propose augmenting the model to allow for sectoral differences in intangible costs of operating in a foreign market in order to explain these observations.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmeiser, Katherine N. & Ricaurte, Miguel F., 2012. "Tradability and market penetration costs: Explaining foreign market servicing intensities," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 190-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:22:y:2012:i:1:p:190-200
    DOI: 10.1016/j.iref.2011.10.011

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blonigen, Bruce A., 2001. "In search of substitution between foreign production and exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 81-104, February.
    2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    3. Claudia M. Buch & Jörn Kleinert & Alexander Lipponer & Farid Toubal, 2005. "Determinants and effects of foreign direct investment: evidence from German firm-level data," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(41), pages 52-110, January.
    4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    5. Michael P. Keane & Susan E. Feinberg, 2006. "Accounting for the Growth of MNC-Based Trade Using a Structural Model of U.S. MNCs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1515-1558, December.
    6. Wagner, Joachim, 2006. "International Firm Activities and Innovation: Evidence from Knowledge Production Functions for German Firms," HWWA Discussion Papers 344, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    7. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2003. "Heterogeneity and the FDI versus export decision of Japanese manufacturers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 448-467, December.
    8. Nocke, Volker & Yeaple, Stephen, 2007. "Cross-border mergers and acquisitions vs. greenfield foreign direct investment: The role of firm heterogeneity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 336-365, July.
    9. Stephen Ross Yeaple, 2006. "Offshoring, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Structure of U.S. Trade," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 602-611, 04-05.
    10. 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.
    11. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
    12. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "Importers, Exporters and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 513-552 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Gleason, Kimberly C. & Lee, Chun I & Mathur, Ike, 2002. "Dimensions of international expansions by US firms to China: Wealth effects, mode selection, and firm-specific factors," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 139-154, May.
    14. Toubal, Farid & Kleinert, Jörn & Buch, Claudia M., 2003. "Determinants of German FDI: New Evidence from Micro-Data," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2003,09, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    15. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Schmeiser, Katherine N., 2013. "The firm export and FDI choice in the context of gravity," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 592-596.

    More about this item


    Trade; Gravity; FDI; Monopolistic competition; Foreign market access;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:22:y:2012:i:1:p:190-200. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.