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Volatility in the Small and in the Large: The Lack of Diversification in International Trade


  • Kramarz, Francis
  • Martin, Julien
  • Mejean, Isabelle


We study how different sources of fluctuations interact with the micro-structure of trade networks to shape the volatility of exports at the firm-level and in the aggregate. Four shocks affect transactions -- a macroeconomic shock and three individual shocks hitting the exporters, their foreign partners, and their matches. We structurally estimate these shocks using data on the transactions connecting French exporters to their individual European buyers. Individual shocks explain half of aggregate fluctuations and the entirety of individual fluctuations. The volatility of sales across firms and countries are well-explained by the cross-sectional heterogeneity in the diversification of their trade networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Kramarz, Francis & Martin, Julien & Mejean, Isabelle, 2016. "Volatility in the Small and in the Large: The Lack of Diversification in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 11534, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11534

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. J. Andrews & L. Gill & T. Schank & R. Upward, 2008. "High wage workers and low wage firms: negative assortative matching or limited mobility bias?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 171(3), pages 673-697, June.
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    More about this item


    Aggregate fluctuations; Firm-level volatility; firm-to-firm trade;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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