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Global firms

Author

Listed:
  • Bernard, Andrew B.
  • Jensen, J. Bradford
  • Redding, Stephen J.
  • Schott, Peter K.

Abstract

Research in international trade has changed dramatically over the last twenty years, as attention has shifted from countries and industries towards the firms actually engaged in international trade. The now standard heterogeneous firm model posits a continuum of firms that compete under monopolistic competition (and hence are measure zero) and decide whether to export to foreign markets. However, much of international trade is dominated by a few “global firms,” which participate in the international economy along multiple margins and are large relative to the markets in which they operate. We outline a framework that allows firms to be of positive measure and to decide simultaneously on the set of production locations, export markets, input sources, products to export, and inputs to import. We use this framework to interpret features of U.S. firm and trade transactions data and highlight interdependencies across these margins of firm international participation. Global firms participate more intensively along each margin, magnifying the impact of underlying differences in firm characteristics, and explaining their dominance of aggregate international trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2016. "Global firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66437, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:66437
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/66437/
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2016. "Global Firms," CEP Discussion Papers dp1420, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    • Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2016. "Global Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 11555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    • Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2016. "Global Firms," NBER Working Papers 22727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Lucio & Raúl Mínguez & Asier Minondo & Francisco Requena, 2017. "The granularity of Spanish exports," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 225-259, August.
    2. Kamal, Fariha & Lovely, Mary E., 2017. "Import competition from and offshoring to low-income countries: Implications for employment and wages at U.S. domestic manufacturers," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 100-119.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    firm heterogeneity; international trade; multinationals; multi-product firms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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