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Spatial Price Discrimination in International Markets

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  • Julien Martin

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical discussion and an empirical investigation of the impact of distance on the spatial pricing policy of exporting firms. The theoretical part points out the importance of transport costs formulation to determine how distance impacts fob prices. Assuming additive or iceberg transport costs might imply opposite predictions concerning this relationship. The empirical analysis is based on French export data providing us with bilateral export unit values at the firm and product level. The main empirical result is that French exporters set higher prices toward the more remote markets. This finding goes against the predictions of the main models of international trade (with or without quality) predicting either a nil or a negative impact of distance on prices at the firm level. It also questions the use of iceberg transport costs. A way to reconcile theory with the data is to introduce additive transport costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Julien Martin, 2009. "Spatial Price Discrimination in International Markets," Working Papers 2009-21, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2009-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Julien MARTIN & Florian MAYNERIS, 2013. "High-End Variety Exporters Defying Distance: Micro Facts and Macroeconomic Implications," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013027, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. Gabor Bekes & Lionel Fontagne & Murakozy Balazs & Vincent Vicard, 2012. "How frequently firms export? Evidence from France," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1217, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    3. Gormsen, Christian, 2009. "Intransparent Markets and Intra-Industry Trade," Working Papers 09-20, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:cii:cepiei:2011-q4-128-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ronald B. Davies & Julien Martin & Mathieu Parenti & Farid Toubal, 2018. "Knocking on Tax Haven’s Door: Multinational Firms and Transfer Pricing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 120-134, March.
    6. Nicolas Berman & José de Sousa & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "Time to Ship during Financial Crises," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 225-260.
    7. Kichko, Sergey & Kokovin, Sergey & Zhelobodko, Evgeny, 2014. "Trade patterns and export pricing under non-CES preferences," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 129-142.
    8. Alfonso Irarrazabal & Andreas Moxnes & Luca David Opromolla, 2015. "The Tip of the Iceberg: A Quantitative Framework for Estimating Trade Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 777-792, October.
    9. Lisandra Flach & Eckhard Janeba, 2017. "Income inequality and export prices across countries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(1), pages 162-200, February.
    10. Crozet, M. & Milet, E. & Mirza, D., 2013. "The Discriminatory Effect of Domestic Regulations on International Trade in Services: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Working papers 451, Banque de France.
    11. Irene Brambilla & Daniel Lederman & Guido Porto, 2012. "Exports, Export Destinations, and Skills," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3406-3438, December.
    12. Harrigan, James & Ma, Xiangjun & Shlychkov, Victor, 2015. "Export prices of U.S. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 100-111.
    13. Hélène Latzer & Florian Mayneris, 2011. "Trade in quality and income distribution: an analysis of the enlarged EU market," Working Papers of BETA 2011-21, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    14. repec:lap:journl:599 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Gullstrand, Joakim & Olofsdotter, Karin & Thede, Susanna, 2011. "Markups and export pricing," Working Papers 2011:37, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    16. Crozet, Matthieu & Lalanne, Guy & Poncet, Sandra, 2013. "Wholesalers in international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-17.
    17. Matthieu Crozet & Emmanuel Milet & Daniel Mirza, 2012. "The Discriminatory Effect of Domestic Regulations on International Services Trade," Working Papers 2012-02, CEPII research center.
    18. Antoine Berthou & Charlotte Emlinger, 2011. "The Trade Unit Values database," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 128, pages 97-117.
    19. Martin, Julien, 2012. "Markups, quality, and transport costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 777-791.
    20. Evgeny Zhelobodko & Sergey Kokovin & Mathieu Parenti & Jacques-François Thisse, 2011. "Monopolistic competition in general equilibrium: Beyond the CES," Working Papers halshs-00566431, HAL.
    21. Kokovin, Sergey & Thisse, Jacques-François & Zhelobodko, Evgeny, 2010. "Monopolistic Competition: Beyond the CES," CEPR Discussion Papers 7947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Durceylan, Esra, 2012. "Relative efficiency of specific and ad-valorem tariffs in a model of monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 874-877.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial price discrimination; Export prices; Distance; Firm level data;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • 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

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