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Learning, Prices, and Firm Dynamics

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  • Paulo Bastos
  • Daniel A. Dias
  • Olga A. Timoshenko

Abstract

We document new facts about the evolution of firm performance and prices in international markets, and propose a theory of firm dynamics emphasizing the interaction between learning about demand and quality choice to explain the observed patterns. Using data from the Portuguese manufacturing sector, we find that: (1) firms with longer spells of activity in export destinations tend to ship larger quantities at lower prices; (2) older exporters tend to use more expensive inputs; (3) revenue growth within destinations (conditional on initial size) tends to decline with market experience; and (4) input prices and quantities tend to increase with revenue growth within firms. We develop a model of endogenous input and output quality choices in a learning environment that is able to account for these patterns. Counterfactual simulations reveal that minimum quality standards on traded goods reduce welfare by lowering entry in export markets and reallocating resources from old and large towards young and small firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulo Bastos & Daniel A. Dias & Olga A. Timoshenko, 2017. "Learning, Prices, and Firm Dynamics," International Finance Discussion Papers 1193, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1193
    DOI: 10.17016/IFDP.2017.1193
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr & Ryan Monarch, 2015. "Learning and the Value of Relationships in International Trade," 2015 Meeting Papers 668, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. George Alessandria & Horag Choi & Kim Ruhl, 2014. "Trade Adjustment Dynamics and the Welfare Gains from Trade," Working Papers 14-11, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    3. Yaniv Yedid-Levi & Stefanie Haller & Doireann Fitzgerald, 2016. "How Exporters Grow," 2016 Meeting Papers 499, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Costas Arkolakis & Theodore Papageorgiou & Olga Timoshenko, 2018. "Firm Learning and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 146-168, January.
      • Costas Arkolakis & Theodore Papageorgiou & Olga A. Timoshenko, 2015. "Firm Learning and Growth," Working Papers 2015-5, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    5. Brendan Epstein & Alan Finkelstein Shapiro & Andres Gonzalez Gomez, 2017. "Financial Disruptions and the Cyclical Upgrading of Labor," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 204-224, October.
    6. Andrea Ariu & Florian Mayneris & Mathieu Parenti, 2016. "Providing Services to Boost Goods Exports: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-43, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Olga A. Timoshenko & Erick Sager, 2017. "Uncertainty and Trade Elasticities," Working Papers 2017-8, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    8. Ryan Monarch & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2017. "Learning and the Value of Trade Relationships," International Finance Discussion Papers 1218, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Gullstrand, Joakim & Knutsson, Polina, 2019. "The Spatial Dimension of Import Competition," Working Papers 2019:13, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Learning about demand; Prices; Product quality; Firm dynamics; Quality standards;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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