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The Fickle Fringe and the Stable Core: Exporters' Product Mix Across Markets

Author

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  • Lionel Gérard Fontagné
  • Angelo Secchi
  • Chiara Tomasi

Abstract

Multi-product exporters choose their product mix focusing on their best-performing products. Although their product mix varies across countries (the fickle fringe), the interdependence in demand or production technology making vectors of products systematically co-exported leads to commonalities in this mix across destinations (the stable core). In order to uncover the determinants of the fickle and stable parts of firm export product mix, we use a cross section of firm-product-destination level French and Italian data, taking explicitly into account the choice of not exporting a product to a destination. Using dissimilarity measures instead of rank correlations, we observe a great deal of variability among the product-mixes a firm exports to different destinations. We show that market size, but also the market positioning of a firm and market structure explain part of this observed variability. At the same time, together with this fickle part, we highlight the existence of a stable component among the diverse product-mixes exported. The probability of exporting this core set of products increases with the size of the destination market and with the ability to match demand, but is inversely related to market concentration.

Suggested Citation

  • Lionel Gérard Fontagné & Angelo Secchi & Chiara Tomasi, 2016. "The Fickle Fringe and the Stable Core: Exporters' Product Mix Across Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 5889, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5889
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francesco Di Comite & Jacques-François Thisse & Hylke Vandenbussche, 2011. "Verti-zontal Differentiation in Monopolistic Competition," Development Working Papers 322, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 17 Oct 2011.
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    3. Söderbom, Måns & Weng, Qian, 2012. "Multi-product firms, product mix changes and upgrading: Evidence from China's state-owned forest areas," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 801-818.
    4. Lisandra Flach & Eckhard Janeba, 2017. "Income inequality and export prices across countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(1), pages 162-200, February.
    5. Brian S. Silverman, 1999. "Technological Resources and the Direction of Corporate Diversification: Toward an Integration of the Resource-Based View and Transaction Cost Economics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(8), pages 1109-1124, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aya Ahmed & Chahir Zaki, 2017. "Export Concentration and Competition: Does the Firms Type Matter?," Working Papers 1078, Economic Research Forum, revised 04 Jun 2017.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    multi-product; multi-country firms; product vectors; demand concentration;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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