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Export Superstars

Author

Listed:
  • Caroline Freund

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics and CEPR)

  • Martha Denisse Pierola

    (World Bank)

Abstract

We show that very large firms shape country export patterns. Among 32 countries, the top firm on average accounts for 14% of a country’s total (nonoil) exports, and the top five firms make up 30%. These export superstars are also important in the sectoral distribution of exports. Variation in exports from the top firm in a country explains about one-third of the variation in sectoral exports relative to income across countries, and variation in exports from the top five firms explains nearly half. Revealed comparative advantage in a sector can be created by a single firm.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline Freund & Martha Denisse Pierola, 2015. "Export Superstars," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1023-1032, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:97:y:2015:i:5:p:1023-1032
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    firm size distribution; power law; granularity; comparative advantage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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