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Heterogeneous Exporter Behaviour: Exploring the Evidence for Sunk-Costs and Hysteresis

Author

Listed:
  • Anne Marie Gleeson

    () (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Frances Ruane

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

Abstract

Recent economic literature suggests the importance of sunk costs and hysteresis in explaining export patterns in international trade. To explore their empirical importance, we present a new conceptual framework that distinguishes six different types of exporter behaviour, and apply this framework to a unique longitudinal data set on Irish manufacturing. Our analysis allows us to identify significant numbers of manufacturers who engage in ?exporter re-switching behaviour?. The magnitude of these numbers leads us to question the widespread importance of sunk costs. In response to export-market shocks, we find strong evidence of both heterogeneous exporter responses and hysteresis.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Marie Gleeson & Frances Ruane, 2007. "Heterogeneous Exporter Behaviour: Exploring the Evidence for Sunk-Costs and Hysteresis," Papers WP196, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp196
    as

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    File URL: http://www.esri.ie/pubs/WP196.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Hansson, Pär & Lundin, Nan Nan, 2003. "Exports as an Indicator on or Promoter of Successful Swedish Manufacturing Firms in the 1990s," Working Paper Series 189, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 31-66.
    6. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
    7. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    8. 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, May.
    9. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    10. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 134-161, February.
    11. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
    12. Anne Marie Gleeson & Frances Ruane, 2007. "Irish Manufacturing Export Dynamics: Evidence of Exporter Heterogeneity in Boom and Slump Periods," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 143(2), pages 375-388, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    heterogeneous exporters; sunk costs; re-switching behaviour;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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