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A Simple Theory of Trade, Finance, and Firm Dynamics

  • Gabriel J. Felbermayr
  • Gilbert Spiegel

We propose a stylized monopolistic competition model of international trade where firms differ with respect to the expected economic lifetime of their innovations. Upon entry, they receive a commonly observed signal which is updated over time. Jointly with partial irreversibility of investment, this generates heterogeneity in effective discount rates and, thus, in the cost of finance. In line with evidence, the model predicts a negative correlation between firms’ financing costs and their age. Over a firm’s life-cycle, per period net profits and the export participation probability grow. Exporters are less likely to exit than purely domestic firms. Belief updating entails excessive financing of incumbents relative to entrants and too much exporting. Asymptotically, trade liberalization reduces overall general equilibrium exit rates, but it does not necessarily increase welfare. With multiple asymmetric export markets, firms gradually expand their market coverage and total sales. A confidence crisis modeled by belief reversion causes an over-proportional decrease in exports, thereby offering a novel interpretation of the recent trade slump.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3873.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3873
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  1. Kremp, E. & Sevestre, P., 2012. "Did the crisis induce credit rationing for French SMEs?," Working papers 405, Banque de France.
  2. Marina-Eliza Spaliara & Holger Görg, 2009. "Financial health, exports, and firm survival: A comparison of British and French firms," Discussion Paper Series 2009_18, Department of Economics, Loughborough University.
  3. Romain Aeberhardt & Ines Buono & Harald Fadinger, 2009. "Learning, Incomplete Contracts and Ecport Dynamics: Theory and Evidence from French Firms," Vienna Economics Papers 1006, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  4. Kristian Behrens & Gregory Corcos & Giordano Mion, 2010. "Trade Crisis? What Trade Crisis?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0995, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2001. "Market entry costs, producer heterogeneity and export dynamics," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 03-10, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
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  7. Rottmann, Horst & Wollmershäuser, Timo, 2013. "A micro data approach to the identification of credit crunches," Munich Reprints in Economics 19741, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Luis Araujo & Giordano Mion & Emanuel Ornelas, 2012. "Institutions and Export Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp1118, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Costa, Stefano & Malgarini, Marco & Margani, Patrizia, 2012. "Access to credit for Italian firms: new evidence from the ISTAT confidence business surveys," MPRA Paper 41389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Greenaway, David & Gullstrand, Joakim & Kneller, Richard, 2008. "Surviving globalisation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 264-277, March.
  11. Bergin, Paul R. & Glick, Reuven, 2009. "Endogenous tradability and some macroeconomic implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1086-1095, November.
  12. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2011. "Zeros, Quality, and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 60-88, May.
  13. Nguyen, Daniel X., 2012. "Demand uncertainty: Exporting delays and exporting failures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 336-344.
  14. Daniel X. Nguyen, 2010. "Demand Uncertainty: Exporting Delays and Exporting Failures," Discussion Papers 10-17, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  15. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2013. "Labor Market Frictions, Firm Growth, and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 19492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2006. "Firm Structure, Multinationals, and Manufacturing Plant Deaths," Working Paper Series WP06-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  17. Costas Arkolakis & Natalia Ramondo & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare & Stephen Yeaple, 2013. "Innovation and Production in the Global Economy," NBER Working Papers 18972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lawless, Martina, 2007. "Firm Export Dynamics and the Geography of Trade," Research Technical Papers 2/RT/07, Central Bank of Ireland.
  19. Impullitti, Giammario & Irarrazabal, Alfonso A. & Opromolla, Luca David, 2013. "A theory of entry into and exit from export markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 75-90.
  20. Alfonso A. Irarrazabal & Luca David Opromolla, 2008. "A Theory of Entry and Exit into Exports Markets," Working Papers w200820, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
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