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Marginal Distance: Does Export Experience Reduce Firm Trade Costs?

  • Lawless, Martina

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

Are the costs of exporting to a market reduced if a firm has experience of exporting to a neighbouring market? If so, does this effect operate through reducing en- try barriers or by increasing sales once the firm is operating in the market? This paper examines linkages between current export destinations and entry, sales and exit for new markets. We find that measures of exporting experience in geographically nearby markets increase the probability of entry into a market and reduce the probability of exit. However, these same measures have negative effects on the firm’s export sales in the market. This negative effect on sales is particularly strong for recently entered firms. We interpret this result in the context of the Melitz heterogeneous-firm model of trade by showing that lower fixed costs reduce the entry threshold, but this lower threshold has the effect of allowing lower-sales marginal firms to be present in the market.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Ireland in its series Research Technical Papers with number 2/RT/11.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:2/rt/11
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  1. Martina Lawless, 2010. "Deconstructing gravity: trade costs and extensive and intensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1149-1172, November.
  2. Hector Calvo & Gregory Corcos & Emanuel Ornelas & Facundo Albornoz, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," 2010 Meeting Papers 1065, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Aitken, B. & Hanson, G.H. & Harrison, A.E., 1994. "Spillovers, Foreign Investment and Export Behavior," Papers 95-06, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  4. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  5. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2004. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," Development Working Papers 186, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  6. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Lawless, Martina, 2009. "Firm export dynamics and the geography of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 245-254, April.
  8. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Glen R. Waddell & Helen T. Naughton, 2004. "FDI in Space: Spatial Autoregressive Relationships in Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 10939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Martina Lawless & Karl Whelan, 2008. "Where Do Firms Export, How Much, and Why?," Working Papers 200821, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  10. Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes & Lynda Sanderson, 2012. "Whatever next? Export market choices of New Zealand firms," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(1), pages 137-159, 03.
  11. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
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