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Comparative Advantage and Heterogenous Firms

  • Bernard, Andrew B.
  • Redding, Stephen J.
  • Schott, Peter K.

This Paper presents a model of international trade that features heterogeneous firms, relative endowment differences across countries, and consumer taste for variety. The Paper demonstrates that firm reactions to trade liberalization generate endogenous Ricardian productivity responses at the industry level that magnify countries’ comparative advantage. Focusing on the wide range of firm-level reactions to falling trade costs, the model also shows that, as trade costs fall, firms in comparative advantage industries are more likely to export, that relative firm size and the relative number of firms increases more in comparative advantage industries and that job turnover is higher in comparative advantage industries than in comparative disadvantage industries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4622.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4622
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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2000. "The theory of endowment, intra-industry and multi-national trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-234, December.
  5. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Survival of the best fit: Exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 219-237, January.
  6. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-1986," NBER Working Papers 3722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Paul Krugman, 1987. "Market Structure and Foreign Trade: Increasing Returns, Imperfect Competition, and the International Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258087x, June.
  9. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  10. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
  11. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  13. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  14. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," NBER Working Papers 7852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  16. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521299695 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  20. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  21. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
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