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Relationship Stickiness, International Trade, and Economic Uncertainty

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  • Julien Martin
  • Isabelle Mejean
  • Mathieu Parenti

Abstract

This paper examines how the degree of stickiness in business relationships influences the real impact of aggregate uncertainty. We first develop a novel index of relationship stickiness (RS) for more than 5,000 HS6 products based on the duration of firm-to-firm trade. The RS measure is derived from a stylized search model in which a higher degree of stickiness implies a lower probability of switching and longer firm-to-firm trade relationships, conditional on match quality. Relationship stickiness shapes the dynamics of firm-to-firm relationships in response to uncertainty shocks. Uncertainty shocks induce a significant and larger decrease in the rate at which new firm-to-firm relationships are formed in high-RS product categories. The relationship between uncertainty and separation rates also varies along the distribution of RS indices, the probability of a trade relationship ending being significantly reduced in sticky-product markets in uncertain times. These results provide evidence that trade of sticky products is characterized by wait-and-see behaviors during uncertainty episodes.

Suggested Citation

  • Julien Martin & Isabelle Mejean & Mathieu Parenti, 2021. "Relationship Stickiness, International Trade, and Economic Uncertainty," Working Papers ECARES 2021-03, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/317363
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    4. Cajal-Grossi, Julia & Del Prete, Davide & Macchiavello, Rocco, 2023. "Supply chain disruptions and sourcing strategies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    5. Caroline Freund & Aaditya Mattoo & Alen Mulabdic & Michele Ruta, 2022. "Natural Disasters and the Reshaping of Global Value Chains," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 70(3), pages 590-623, September.
    6. de Lucio, Juan & Díaz-Mora, Carmen & Mínguez, Raúl & Minondo, Asier & Requena, Francisco, 2023. "Do firms react to supply chain disruptions?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 902-916.
    7. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2021. "Global Value Chains," NBER Working Papers 28549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Giorgia Giovannetti & Gianluca Santoni & Giulio Vannelli, 2023. "Securing Foreign Markets: Exports, Relational Specificity and New Investment Locations," Working Papers 2023-03, CEPII research center.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relationship Stickiness; International Trade; Economic Uncertainty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis

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