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Firm Export Dynamics and the Geography of Trade

  • Lawless, Martina

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

Two recent trends in international economics have been an increased focus on the geography of trade (e.g. what factors determine where a country exports to) and the emergence of empirical work examining firm-level data on exporting activity. However, data limitations have prevented there being much progress in combining these two areas, because very few countries provide firm-level data breaking down firm exports by their destination. Eaton, Kortum and Kramarz (2004) have analysed such data for French firms but their study only uses a single cross-section of data. This paper uses a unique survey of Irish exporting firms over a five year period to fill some of the gaps in this empirical literature. With information on over fifty destinations, firm-level changes in market coverage and their contribution to net export growth are investigated. Firm involvement in individual export markets is found to be much more dynamic than export status. Entry and exit to markets is shown to be a quantifiably important component of overall export flows, with this factor becoming more important for less popular markets. The paper also shows how the patterns of entry and exit into export markets combine to determine the overall firm-level distribution of number of markets entered.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Ireland in its series Research Technical Papers with number 2/RT/07.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:2/rt/07
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  1. 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.
  2. Jonathan Eaton, Marcela Eslava, Maurice Kugler, and James Tybout, 2007. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Papers eg0038, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
  3. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  7. Anne Marie Gleeson & Frances Ruane, 2006. "Export dynamics in Small Open Economies: Indigenous Irish Manufacturing Exports, 1985-2003," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp140, IIIS.
  8. Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "On the micro-structure of the German export boom: Evidence from establishment panel data, 1995 - 2002," HWWA Discussion Papers 249, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  9. J. Bradford Jensen & Andrew Bernard & Peter Schott, 2005. "Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," Working Papers 05-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Eaton, Jonathan & Eckstein, Zvi, 1997. "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 443-474, August.
  11. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  12. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Entry, Expansion, and Intensity in the US Export Boom, 1987-1992," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 662-675, 09.
  13. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting trade: firms, industries, and export destinations," Staff Report 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 426-434, April.
  15. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  16. 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.
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