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Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters

Author

Listed:
  • Thierry Mayer

    (Sciences-Po, CEPII and CEPR)

  • Marc J. Melitz

    (Harvard University, NBER and CEPR)

  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

    (Bocconi University, FEEM, Bruegel, CEPR and Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano)

Abstract

We build a theoretical model of multi-product firms that highlights how market size and geography (the market sizes of and bilateral economic distances to trading partners) affect both a firm\'s ex-ported product range and its exported product mix across market destinations (the distribution of sales across products for a given product range). We show how tougher competition in an export market induces a firm to skew its export sales towards its best performing products. We find very strong confirmation of this competitive effect for French exporters across export market destina-tions. Trade models based on exogenous markups cannot explain this strong significant link between destination market characteristics and the within-firm skewness of export sales (after controlling for bilateral trade costs. Theoretically, this within firm change in product mix driven by the trading environment has important repercussions on firm productivity and how it responds to changes in that trading environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2011. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," Development Working Papers 316, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:316
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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