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Decomposing Aggregate Trade Flows: New Evidence from U.S. Traders

Author

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  • Fariha Kamal
  • C.J. Krizan

Abstract

Using firm-level data on export transactions, we uncover a rich set of results about the extensive margins of exporting and exporter responses during periods of global downturns. We perform our analysis with respect to firm size, age, ownership status, and sector to emphasize the role of firm heterogeneity. We uncover a larger role for firm entry and exit in changes in annual export flows of single-unit, smaller, and younger firms. Young, small firms perform best during both periods of crises as well as non-crises periods. We also decompose the margins of U.S. imports at the U.S. importer, foreign supplier, and U.S. importer-foreign supplier pair levels. While export flows are closely correlated with global business cycles, import flows more closely approximate U.S. economic cycles. Additionally, both pair and foreign supplier flows are far more volatile than U.S. import flows, that is, U.S. importer-foreign supplier matches experience more churning on average than do either U.S. importers or foreign suppliers.

Suggested Citation

  • Fariha Kamal & C.J. Krizan, 2012. "Decomposing Aggregate Trade Flows: New Evidence from U.S. Traders," Working Papers 12-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:12-17
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2012/CES-WP-12-17.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan Monarch, 2014. ""It's Not You, It's Me": Breakup In U.S.-China Trade Relationships," Working Papers 14-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. William F. Lincoln & Andrew H. McCallum & Michael Siemer, 2017. "The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-108, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Hottman, Colin J. & Monarch, Ryan, 2020. "A matter of taste: Estimating import price inflation across U.S. income groups," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    4. William Lincoln & Andrew McCallum & Michael Siemer, 2018. "The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters," 2018 Meeting Papers 558, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. William F. Lincoln & Andrew H. McCallum & Michael Siemer, 2019. "The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 67(4), pages 703-745, December.
    6. William F. Lincoln & Andrew H. McCallum & Michael Siemer, 2018. "The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters," Working Papers 18-33, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    U.S. exports; imports; extensive and intensive margins; firm heterogeneity; shocks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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