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The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters

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Abstract

The collapse of international trade surrounding the Great Recession has garnered significant attention. This paper studies firm entry and exit in foreign markets and their role in the post-recession recovery of U.S. exports using confidential microdata from the U.S. Census Bureau. We find that incumbent exporters account for the vast majority of the decline in export volumes during the crisis. The recession also induced a missing generation of exporters, with large increases in exits and a substantial decline in entries into foreign markets. New exporters during these years tended to have larger export volumes, however, compensating for the decline in the number of exporting firms. Thus, while entry and exit were important for determining the variety of U.S. goods that were exported, they were less important for the trajectory of aggregate foreign sales.

Suggested Citation

  • William F. Lincoln & Andrew H. McCallum & Michael Siemer, 2017. "The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-108, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2017-108
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2017.108
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    1. Erick Sager & Olga A. Timoshenko, 2019. "The double EMG distribution and trade elasticities," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(4), pages 1523-1557, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycles; Entry; Exit; Exports; Financial crisis; Firm dynamics; Great recession; Recession;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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