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The micro dynamics of exporting: evidence from French firms

  • Ines Buono

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Harald Fadinger

    ()

    (University of Vienna)

The paper investigates the dynamics of export relationships � defined as shipments by a given firm to a given destination in a given year � in a panel of almost 25,000 French exporters over the five-year period 1995-1999. It describes how the relationships evolve over time, presenting a number of stylized facts that are related to various theories of export dynamics, such as a dynamic sunk-cost model and the recent literature on exporting and learning. We find that export relationships are highly dynamic: a large fraction are created or concluded every year, and the values within relationships fluctuate substantially. Most of these dynamics are explained by relationship-specific shocks, not supply or demand shocks. Also, export values are small at first but gradually increase as relationships mature. Finally, while many export relationships are volatile, others are persistent. Previous exports to a destination substantially increase a firm�s probability of making current exports there. Taken together, these facts correspond better to the learning than to the sunk-cost hypothesis.

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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 880.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_880_12
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  1. Josep M Vilarrubia & Rubén Segura-Cayuela, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," 2008 Meeting Papers 661, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Albornoz-Crespo, Facundo & Calvo Pardo, Hector F. & Corcos, Gregory & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," CEPR Discussion Papers 8103, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Lawless, Martina, 2007. "Firm Export Dynamics and the Geography of Trade," MPRA Paper 10008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Development Working Papers 201, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
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  9. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
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  12. Jonathan Eaton, Marcela Eslava, Maurice Kugler,James Tybout, 1970. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Papers eg0036, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 1970.
  13. Rauch, J E & Watson, Joel, 1999. "Starting Small in an Unfamiliar Environment," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4rp145hc, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  14. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2001. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  17. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  18. Antoine Berthou & Lionel Fontagné, 2013. "How do Multiproduct Exporters React to a Change in Trade Costs?," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-00975562, HAL.
  19. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
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