IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Sequential Exporting

  • Albornoz-Crespo, Facundo
  • Calvo Pardo, Hector F.
  • Corcos, Gregory
  • Ornelas, Emanuel

Many new exporters give up exporting very shortly, despite substantial entry costs; others shoot up foreign sales and expand to new destinations. We develop a model based on experimentation to rationalize these and other dynamic patterns of exporting firms. We posit that individual export profitability, while initially uncertain, is positively correlated over time and across destinations. This leads to “sequential exporting,” where the possibility of profitable expansion at the intensive and extensive margins makes initial entry costs worthwhile despite high failure rates. Firm-level evidence from Argentina’s customs, which would be difficult to reconcile with existing models, strongly supports this mechanism. Importantly, sequential exporting has novel policy implications: a reduction in trade barriers has delayed effects, while also promoting entry in third markets. This trade externality poses challenges for the quantification of the effects of trade liberalization programs and implies that the consequences of international trade agreements are significantly richer than traditional models suggest.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8103.

in new window

Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8103
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Paola Conconi & André Sapir & Maurizio Zanardi, 2013. "The Internationalization Process of Firms: from Exports to FDI," Working Papers ECARES 2013/139596, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Chaney, Thomas, 2011. "The Network Structure of International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 8240, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "An economic theory of GATT," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Kalina Manova, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 711-744.
  5. Ping Lin & Kamal Saggi, 1999. "Incentives for Foreign Direct Investment under Imitation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1275-1298, November.
  6. Tibor Besedes & Thomas J. Prusa, 2003. "On the Duration of Trade," NBER Working Papers 9936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Monika Mrazova, 2009. "Trade negotiations when market access matters," Economics Series Working Papers 447, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Luis Araujo & Giordano Mion & Emanuel Ornelas, 2012. "Institutions and export dynamics," Working Paper Research 220, National Bank of Belgium.
  9. Alfonso A. Irarrazabal & Luca David Opromolla, 2009. "The Cross Sectional Dynamics of Heterogenous Trade Models," Working Papers w200924, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  10. Facundo Albornoz & Hector Calvo-Pardo & Gregory Corcos & Emanuel Ornelas, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," CEP Discussion Papers dp0974, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "The Margins of U.S. Trade (Long Version)," NBER Working Papers 14662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. repec:pse:psecon:2005-35 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence from Firm-level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 60-82, 01.
  14. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, 05.
  15. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really KNow that the WTO Increases Trade?," Working Papers 182002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  16. Lawless, Martina, 2009. "Firm export dynamics and the geography of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 245-254, April.
  17. Daniel X. Nguyen, 2010. "Demand Uncertainty: Exporting Delays and Exporting Failures," Discussion Papers 10-17, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  18. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Thierry Mayer, . "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 12, June.
  19. Hector Calvo Pardo, 2005. "Are the antiglobalists right? Gains-from-trade without a walrasian auctioneer," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590718, HAL.
  20. Aghion, Philippe, et al, 1991. "Optimal Learning by Experimentation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 621-54, July.
  21. Egger, Peter & Fahn, Matthias & Merlo, Valeria & Wamser, Georg, 2014. "On the genesis of multinational foreign affiliate networks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 136-163.
  22. Giovanni Maggi & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "A Political-Economy Theory of Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1374-1406, September.
  23. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  24. Luis Araujo & Emanuel Ornelas, 2007. "Trust-Based Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0820, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  25. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Rauch, James E. & Watson, Joel, 2003. "Starting small in an unfamiliar environment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 1021-1042, September.
  27. Kei-Mu Yi, 2000. "Can vertical specialization explain the growth of world trade?," Staff Reports 96, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  28. Martina Lawless, 2013. "Marginal Distance: Does Export Experience Reduce Firm Trade Costs?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 819-841, November.
  29. Ana Cristina Molina, 2010. "Are Preferential Agreements Stepping Stones To Other Markets?," IHEID Working Papers 13-2010, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  30. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  31. Ornelas, Emanuel & Turner, John L., 2008. "Trade liberalization, outsourcing, and the hold-up problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 225-241, January.
  32. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "The Margins of US Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0906, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  33. Buono, Ines & Fadinger, Harald & Berger, Stefan, 2008. "The Micro Dynamics of Exporting: Evidence from French Firms," MPRA Paper 12940, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  34. Costas Arkolakis, 2009. "A Unified Theory of Firm Selection and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 2679, CESifo Group Munich.
  35. Kent Eriksson & Jan Johanson & Anders Majkg�rd & D Deo Sharma, 1997. "Experimental Knowledge and Costs in the Internationalization Process," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(2), pages 337-360, June.
  36. Redding, Stephen J., 2010. "Theories of Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7961, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  37. Demidova, Svetlana & Kee, Hiau Looi & Krishna, Kala, 2012. "Do trade policy differences induce sorting? Theory and evidence from Bangladeshi apparel exporters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 247-261.
  38. Alejandro Artopoulos & Daniel Friel & Juan Carlos Hallak, 2010. "Challenges of Exporting Differentiated Products to Developed Countries: The Case of SME-Dominated Sectors in a Semi-Industrialized Country," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6856, Inter-American Development Bank.
  39. Lawless, Martina, 2008. "Deconstructing Gravity: Trade Costs and Extensive and Intensive Margins," MPRA Paper 10230, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  40. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  41. Hiau Looi Kee & Kala Krishna, 2008. "Firm-Level Heterogeneous Productivity and Demand Shocks: Evidence from Bangladesh," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 457-62, May.
  42. Alejandro Micco & Ernesto H. Stein & Guillermo Luis Ordoñez, 2003. "The Currency Union Effect on Trade: Early Evidence from EMU," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6511, Inter-American Development Bank.
  43. Rubén Segura-Cayuela & Josep M. Vilarrubia, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0811, Banco de Espa�a.
  44. Leonardo Iacovone & BeataS. Javorcik, 2010. "Multi-Product Exporters: Product Churning, Uncertainty and Export Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 481-499, 05.
  45. Sebastian Krautheim, 2007. "Gravity and Information: Heterogeneous Firms, Exporter Networks and the 'Distance Puzzle'," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/51, European University Institute.
  46. Lederman, Daniel & Olarreaga, Marcelo & Payton, Lucy, 2010. "Export promotion agencies: Do they work?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 257-265, March.
  47. Willis, Jonathan L. & Ruhl, Kim J., 2014. "New exporter dynamics," Research Working Paper RWP 14-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  48. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "Economic Development as Self Discovery," CEPR Discussion Papers 3356, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  49. Morales, Eduardo & Sheu, Gloria & Zahler, Andrés, 2011. "Gravity and extended gravity: estimating a structural model of export entry," MPRA Paper 30311, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  50. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  51. Alejandro Micco & Ernesto Stein & Guillermo OrdoÒez, 2003. "The currency union effect on trade: early evidence from EMU," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 315-356, October.
  52. Tibor Besedes & Thomas Prusa, 2006. "Ins, outs, and the duration of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 266-295, February.
  53. Jan Johanson & Jan-Erik Vahlne, 1977. "The Internationalization Process of the Firm—A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 23-32, March.
  54. Krautheim, Sebastian, 2012. "Heterogeneous firms, exporter networks and the effect of distance on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 27-35.
  55. Nguyen, Daniel X., 2012. "Demand uncertainty: Exporting delays and exporting failures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 336-344.
  56. Aghion, P. & Bolton, P. & Harris, C. & Jullien, B., 1990. "Optimal Learning By Experimentation," DELTA Working Papers 90-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  57. Alejandro Artopoulos & Daniel Friel & Juan Carlos Hallak, 2011. "Lifting the Domestic Veil: The Challenges of Exporting Differentiated Goods Across the Development Divide," NBER Working Papers 16947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  58. 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.
  59. Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Martha Denisse, 2010. "Export entrepreneurs : evidence from Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5407, The World Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.