IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Pass-on Trade: Why do Firms Simultaneously Engage in Two-Way Trade in the Same Varieties?

  • Joze Damijan
  • Joep Konings
  • Saso Polanec

This paper documents that a large fraction of trade flows at the firm level consists of simultaneous imports and exports in identical products, narrowly defined at the 8-digit product classification, which we call Pass-On Trade, POT. We use data on imports and exports at the firm–product level for Slovenian manufacturing firms in the period 1994-2008, to show that, on average, 70 percent of all exporting firms engage in POT. This corresponds to more than 50 percent of all exported products. Thus, imported products that are exported again by the same firm is a statistical regularity of trade of Slovenian manufacturing firms. We document that the use of POT is increasing in firm size, product diversification, multinational status as well as firm productivity and profitability. We offer and explore empirically a number of explanations for POT. Among possible explanations, we find evidence on the importance of firms’ multinational networks and demand complementarities between firms’ own and POT products. The latter confirms the theoretical explanations for ‘Carry-Along Trade’ (CAT) as developed by the recent work of Bernard et al (2010, 2012).

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics in its series Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics with number 31.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ete:vivwps:31
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting trade: firms, industries, and export destinations," Staff Report 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Wholesalers and retailers in U.S. trade (Long Version)," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48896, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Francesco Di Comite & Jacques-François Thisse & Hylke Vandenbussche, 2011. "Verti-zontal differentiation in monopolistic competition," Working Paper Research 216, National Bank of Belgium.
  6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  7. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2006. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2006038e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  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. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 12782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Andrew B. Bernard & Emily J. Blanchard & Ilke Van Beveren & Hylke Y. Vandenbussche, 2012. "Carry-Along Trade," NBER Working Papers 18246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
  12. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 241-275, May.
  13. Dimitra Petropoulou, 2008. "Information Costs, Networks and Intermediation in International Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0848, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Petia Topalova & Nina Pavcnik & Amit Khandelwal & Penny Goldberg, 2009. "Multi-product Firms and Product Turnover in the Developing World: Evidence from India," 2009 Meeting Papers 176, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Costas Arkolakis & Sharat Ganapati & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2016. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2028, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Jaan Masso & Priit Vahter, 2011. "Exporting And Productivity: The Effects Of Multi-Market And Multi-Product Export Entry," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 83, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  17. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  18. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Wholesalers and retailers in US Trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28614, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  19. James Brander, 1980. "Intra-Industry Trade in Identical Commodities," Working Papers 380, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  20. Mayer, Thierry & Melitz, Marc J & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 2011. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," CEPR Discussion Papers 8349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Balassa, Bela, 1986. "The Determinants of Intra-industry Specialization in United States Trade," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 220-33, July.
  22. 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.
  23. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Jože P. Damijan & Črt Kostevc & Sašo Polanec, 2011. "Export Strategies of New Exporters: Why is Export Expansion Along the Extensive Margins so Sluggish?," LICOS Discussion Papers 27711, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  25. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," NBER Working Papers 7852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Intermediaries in International Trade: direct versus indirect modes of export," Department of Economics Working Papers 1016, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  27. Leonardo Iacovone & BeataS. Javorcik, 2010. "Multi-Product Exporters: Product Churning, Uncertainty and Export Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 481-499, 05.
  28. Greenaway, David & Milner, Chris R, 1983. "On the Measurement of Intra-Industry Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 900-908, December.
  29. Eckel, Carsten & Neary, J. P., 2010. "Multi-product firms and flexible manufacturing in the global economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20525, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  30. Christian Volpe Martincus & Jerónimo Carballo, 2008. "Survival of New Exporters in Developing Countries: Does it Matter How They Diversify?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9291, Inter-American Development Bank.
  31. James E. Rauch & Joel Watson, 2004. "Network Intermediaries in International Trade," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 69-93, 03.
  32. Jože P. Damijan & Jozef Konings & Sašo Polanec, 2014. "Import Churning and Export Performance of Multi-product Firms," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(11), pages 1483-1506, November.
  33. Hiroyuki Kasahara & Joel Rodrigue, 2005. "Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20057, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  34. Costas Arkolakis & Svetlana Demidova & Peter J. Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2008. "Endogenous Variety and the Gains from Trade," NBER Working Papers 13933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Akerman, Anders, 2010. "A Theory on the Role of Wholesalers in International Trade based on Economies of Scope," Research Papers in Economics 2010:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  36. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ete:vivwps:31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (library EBIB)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.