IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/9584.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Buyer Margins of Firms' Exports

Author

Listed:
  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco
  • Volpe Martincus, Christian
  • Carballo, Jeronimo

Abstract

We use highly disaggregated firm-level export data from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Uruguay over the period 2005-2008 to provide a precise characterization of firms' export margins, across products, destination countries, and crucially customers. We show that a firm's number of buyers and the distribution of sales across them systematically vary with the characteristics of its destination markets. While most firms serve only very few buyers abroad, the number of buyers and the skewness of sales across them increases with the size and the accessibility of destinations. We develop a simple model of selection with heterogeneous buyers and sellers consistent with these findings in which tougher competition induces a better alignment between consumers' ideal variants and firms' core competencies. This generates an additional channel through which tougher competition leads to higher productivity and higher welfare and hints at an additional source of gains from trade as long as freer trade fosters competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Volpe Martincus, Christian & Carballo, Jeronimo, 2013. "The Buyer Margins of Firms' Exports," CEPR Discussion Papers 9584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9584
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cepr.org/publications/DP9584
    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 subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    2. Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2021. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 5, pages 109-150, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Intrafirm Trade and Product Contractibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 444-448, May.
    6. Carballo, Jeronimo & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2018. "The buyer margins of firms' exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 33-49.
    7. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2008. "The Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," Development Working Papers 267, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    8. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    9. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2012. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 379-436.
    10. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    11. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
    12. Swati Dhingra, 2013. "Trading Away Wide Brands for Cheap Brands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2554-2584, October.
    13. Marc J. Melitz & Giancarlo I. P. Ottaviano, 2021. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 4, pages 87-108, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    14. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    15. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2015. "New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1105-1146, March.
    16. Ryan Monarch, 2014. ""It's Not You, It's Me": Breakup In U.S.-China Trade Relationships," Working Papers 14-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    17. McCalman, Phillip, 2018. "International trade, income distribution and welfare," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 1-15.
    18. Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
    19. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-François Thisse, 2021. "Agglomeration And Trade Revisited," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 3, pages 59-85, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    20. Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Intermediaries in International Trade: direct versus indirect modes of export," LEM Papers Series 2010/19, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    21. Harrigan, James & Ma, Xiangjun & Shlychkov, Victor, 2015. "Export prices of U.S. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 100-111.
    22. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Introduction to "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data"," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 1-12, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
    24. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    25. Rocco Macchiavello & Ameet Morjaria, 2015. "The Value of Relationships: Evidence from a Supply Shock to Kenyan Rose Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2911-2945, September.
    26. Yoichi Sugita & Kensuke Teshima & Enrique Seira, 2023. "Assortative Matching of Exporters and Importers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1544-1561, November.
    27. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/6g0gsihsjmn5snc9pb0jo6hhp is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 283-313, July.
    29. Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr & Ryan Monarch, 2015. "Learning and the Value of Relationships in International Trade," 2015 Meeting Papers 668, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    30. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2019. "The Elusive Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(1), pages 46-80.
    31. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 197-261, Elsevier.
    32. Andrew B. Bernard & Andreas Moxnes & Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 2018. "Two-Sided Heterogeneity and Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 424-439, July.
    33. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    34. Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2015. "Intermediaries in International Trade: Products and Destinations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 916-920, October.
    35. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151-1199.
    36. Ryan Monarch & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2017. "Learning and the Value of Trade Relationships," International Finance Discussion Papers 1218, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    37. Antrà s, Pol & Yeaple, Stephen R., 2014. "Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 55-130, Elsevier.
    38. James E. Rauch & Alessandra Casella, 2003. "Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Ties," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 21-42, January.
    39. Marcela Eslava & James Tybout & David Jinkins & C. Krizan & Jonathan Eaton, 2015. "A Search and Learning Model of Export Dynamics," 2015 Meeting Papers 1535, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    40. Kamal, Fariha & Sundaram, Asha, 2016. "Buyer–seller relationships in international trade: Do your neighbors matter?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 128-140.
    41. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2003. "Information, International Substitutability, and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 775-791, June.
    42. Jonathan Eaton, Marcela Eslava, Maurice Kugler,James Tybout, 1970. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Papers eg0036, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 1970.
    43. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9m01g1j1k2 is not listed on IDEAS
    44. Ahn, JaeBin & Khandelwal, Amit K. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "The role of intermediaries in facilitating trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-85, May.
    45. 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.
    46. Laura Alfaro & Maggie X. Chen, 2018. "Selection and Market Reallocation: Productivity Gains from Multinational Production," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 1-38, May.
    47. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    48. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity (DOI:10.111/j.1467-937x.2007.00463.x)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 985-985.
    49. Elhanan Helpman, 1985. "International Trade in Differentiated Middle Products," International Economic Association Series, in: Karl Jungenfelt & Douglas Hague (ed.), Structural Adjustment in Developed Open Economies, chapter 1, pages 3-34, Palgrave Macmillan.
    50. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    51. Lancaster, Kelvin, 1980. "Intra-industry trade under perfect monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 151-175, May.
    52. Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), 2014. "Handbook of International Economics," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    53. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    54. Casella, Alessandra & Rauch, James E., 2002. "Anonymous market and group ties in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 19-47, October.
    55. Capozza, Dennis R & Van Order, Robert, 1978. "A Generalized Model of Spatial Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 896-908, December.
    56. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
    57. Bernardo S. Blum & Sebastian Claro & Ignatius Horstmann, 2010. "Facts and Figures on Intermediated Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 419-423, May.
    58. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9m01g1j1k2 is not listed on IDEAS
    59. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "Importers, Exporters and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 513-552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    60. 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 545-564, September.
    61. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
    62. Macchiavello, Rocco, 2010. "Development Uncorked: Reputation Acquisition in the New Market for Chilean Wines in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 7698, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    2. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2012. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 379-436.
    3. Benguria, Felipe, 2021. "The matching and sorting of exporting and importing firms: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 283-313, July.
    5. Crinò, Rosario & Bonfiglioli, Alessandra & Gancia, Gino, 2021. "International Trade with Heterogeneous Firms: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 16249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Krolikowski, Pawel M. & McCallum, Andrew H., 2021. "Goods-market frictions and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    7. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2017. "Multi-product firms and product quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 116-137.
    8. Nocco, Antonella & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Salto, Matteo, 2019. "Geography, competition, and optimal multilateral trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 145-161.
    9. Güzin Bayar, 2018. "Estimating export equations: a survey of the literature," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 629-672, March.
    10. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    11. Carballo, Jerónimo & Rodriguez Chatruc, Marisol & Salas Santa, Catalina & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2022. "Online business platforms and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    12. Heiland, Inga & Kohler, Wilhelm, 2022. "Heterogeneous workers, trade, and migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    13. Clemence Lenoir & Isabelle Mejean & Julien Martin, 2018. "Search Frictions in International Good Markets," 2018 Meeting Papers 878, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Federico J. Diez & Jesse Mora & Alan C. Spearot, 2016. "Firms in international trade," Working Papers 16-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    15. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9m01g1j1k2 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9m01g1j1k2 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2021. "Global Value Chains," NBER Working Papers 28549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Feng, Ling & Li, Zhiyuan & Swenson, Deborah L., 2017. "Trade policy uncertainty and exports: Evidence from China's WTO accession," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 20-36.
    19. Arnarson, Björn Thor, 2020. "The superstar and the followers: Intra-firm product complementarity in international trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 277-304.
    20. Bastos, Paulo & Silva, Joana, 2010. "The quality of a firm's exports: Where you export to matters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 99-111, November.
    21. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "Global Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 565-619, June.
    22. Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Intermediaries in International Trade: direct versus indirect modes of export," LEM Papers Series 2010/19, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Buyer margins; Competition; Market segmentation; Markups;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9584. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.