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The lumpiness of German exports and imports of goods

Author

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  • Wagner, Joachim

Abstract

This paper looks at a hitherto neglected extensive margin of international trade by investigating for the first time the frequency at which German exporters and importers trade a given good with a given country. Imports and exports show a high degree of lumpiness. In a given year about half of all firm-good-country combinations are recorded only once or twice for trade with EU-countries, and this is the case for more than 60 percent of all firm-good-country combinations in trade with non-EU countries. The frequency of recorded transactions tends to decline with an increase in the number of transactions per year. This is in accordance with the presence of per-shipment fixed costs that provide an incentive for trading firms to engage in cross-border transactions infrequently. Empirical models show that for Germany the frequency of transactions at the firm-good-country level tends to decrease with an increase in per-shipment costs when unobserved firm and goods characteristics are controlled for.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner, Joachim, 2016. "The lumpiness of German exports and imports of goods," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 10, pages 1-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201621
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2016-21
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/145455/1/866741151.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "Inventories, Lumpy Trade, and Large Devaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2304-2339, December.
    2. Kropf, Andreas & Sauré, Philip, 2014. "Fixed costs per shipment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 166-184.
    3. Joachim Wagner, 2016. "A survey of empirical studies using transaction level data on exports and imports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(1), pages 215-225, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    lumpiness of trade; imports; exports; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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