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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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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2012/2012-0880/en_tema_880.pdf
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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. 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.
  2. R. Aeberhardt & I. Buono & H. Fadinger, 2011. "Learning, Incomplete Contracts and Export Dynamics: Theory and Evidence from French Firms," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2011-16, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  3. Nicolas Berman, Antoine Berthou,Jérôme Héricourt, 2011. "Export dynamics and sales at home," IHEID Working Papers 14-2011, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  4. 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.
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  6. Eaton, Jonathan & Eslava, Marcela & Kugler, Maurice & Tybout, James, 2007. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Paper Series rwp07-050, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Rubén Segura-Cayuela & Josep M. Vilarrubia, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0811, Banco de Espa�a.
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  9. Hector Calvo & Gregory Corcos & Emanuel Ornelas & Facundo Albornoz, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," 2010 Meeting Papers 1065, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  11. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
  12. Bricongne, Jean-Charles & Fontagné, Lionel & Gaulier, Guillaume & Taglioni, Daria & Vicard, Vincent, 2010. "Exports and sectoral financial dependence: evidence on French firms during the great global crisis," Working Paper Series 1227, European Central Bank.
  13. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. 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, 09.
  15. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Lawless, Martina, 2007. "Firm Export Dynamics and the Geography of Trade," Research Technical Papers 2/RT/07, Central Bank of Ireland.
  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. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, 05.
  19. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting trade: firms, industries, and export destinations," Staff Report 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  21. 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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