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Learning and the Value of Trade Relationships

Author

Listed:
  • Ryan Monarch
  • Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr

Abstract

This paper quantifies the value of importer-exporter relationships. We show that almost 80 percent of U.S. imports take place in pre-existing relationships, with sizable heterogeneity across countries, and show that traded quantities and survival increase as relationships age. We develop a two-country general equilibrium trade model with learning that is consistent with these facts. A model-based measure of relationship value explains survival during the 2008-09 crisis. Knowledge accumulated within long-term relationships is quantitatively important: wiping out all memory from previous interactions, on average, reduces consumption by 5 percent on impact and by 48 percent over the transition back to steady state.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1218
    DOI: 10.17016/IFDP.2017.1218
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    File URL: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/ifdp/files/ifdp1218.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ryan Monarch, 2014. ""It's Not You, It's Me": Breakup In U.S.-China Trade Relationships," Working Papers 14-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Araujo, Luis & Mion, Giordano & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2016. "Institutions and export dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 2-20.
    3. repec:tpr:restat:v:100:y:2018:i:3:p:424-439 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rocco Macchiavello & Ameet Morjaria, 2015. "The Value of Relationships: Evidence from a Supply Shock to Kenyan Rose Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2911-2945, September.
    5. Alessandria, George & Choi, Horag & Ruhl, Kim J., 2014. "Trade adjustment dynamics and the welfare gains from trade," Working Papers 14-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    6. repec:cje:issued:v:51:y:2018:i:4:p:1257-1311 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    8. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    9. Paulo Bastos & Daniel A. Dias & Olga A. Timoshenko, 2018. "Learning, prices and firm dynamics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1257-1311, November.
    10. Alvarez, Fernando & Lucas, Robert Jr., 2007. "General equilibrium analysis of the Eaton-Kortum model of international trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1726-1768, September.
    11. Bernard, Andrew B. & Massari, Renzo & Reyes, Jose-Daniel & Taglioni, Daria, 2013. "Exporter dynamics, firm size and growth, and partial year effects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6711, The World Bank.
    12. repec:bla:reviec:v:26:y:2018:i:1:p:117-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Fariha Kamal & Ryan Monarch, 2018. "Identifying foreign suppliers in U.S. import data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 117-139, February.
    14. repec:red:issued:15-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Sebastian Heise, 2016. "Firm-to-Firm Relationships and Price Rigidity - Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6226, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Andrew B. Bernard & Andreas Moxnes & Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 2018. "Two-Sided Heterogeneity and Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 424-439, July.
    17. Kamal, Fariha & Sundaram, Asha, 2016. "Buyer–seller relationships in international trade: Do your neighbors matter?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 128-140.
    18. Timoshenko, Olga A., 2015. "Learning versus sunk costs explanations of export persistence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 113-128.
    19. Tibor Besedeš, 2008. "A Search Cost Perspective on Formation and Duration of Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 835-849, November.
    20. 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.
    21. Sebastian Heise, 2016. "Firm-to-Firm Relationships and Price Rigidity - Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6226, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Krolikowski, Pawel & McCallum, Andrew H., 2016. "Goods-Market Frictions and International Trade," Working Papers 163501, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 11 Sep 2018.
    2. Fariha Kamal & Ryan Monarch, 2018. "Identifying foreign suppliers in U.S. import data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 117-139, February.
    3. Niepmann, Friederike & Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2017. "No guarantees, no trade: How banks affect export patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 338-350.
    4. repec:eee:eecrev:v:111:y:2019:i:c:p:1-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Carballo, Jeronimo & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2018. "The buyer margins of firms' exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 33-49.
    6. Alvaro Garcia-Marin & Santiago Justel & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2019. "Trade credit and markups," CESifo Working Paper Series 7600, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Cajal-Grossi, Julia & Macchiavello, Rocco & Noguera, Guillermo, 2019. "International Buyers' Sourcing and Suppliers' Markups in Bangladeshi Garments," CEPR Discussion Papers 13482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Grossi, Julia Cajal & Macchiavello, Rocco & Noguera, Guillermo, 2019. "International Buyers' Sourcing and Suppliers' Markups in Bangladeshi Garments," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 403, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    9. Sebastian Heise, 2018. "Firm-to-Firm Relationships and Price Rigidity: Theory and Evidence," 2018 Meeting Papers 937, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Ryan Monarch, 2014. ""It's Not You, It's Me": Breakup In U.S.-China Trade Relationships," Working Papers 14-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    11. Muendler, Marc-Andreas & Rauch, James E., 2018. "Do employee spinoffs learn markets from their parents? Evidence from international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 159-173.
    12. Sebastian Heise, 2016. "Firm-to-Firm Relationships and Price Rigidity - Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6226, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Peter S. Eppinger & Nicole Meythaler & Marc-Manuel Sindlinger & Marcel Smolka, 2015. "The Great Trade Collapse and the Spanish Export Miracle: Firm-level Evidence from the Crisis," IAW Discussion Papers 120, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    14. Sebastian Heise, 2016. "Firm-to-Firm Relationships and Price Rigidity - Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6226, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Muendler, Marc-Andreas & Rauch, James E., 2018. "Do employee spinoffs learn markets from their parents? Evidence from international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 159-173.
    16. Julia Cajal-Grossi & Rocco Macchiavello & Guillermo Noguera, 2019. "International Buyers' Sourcing and Suppliers' Markups in Bangladeshi Garments," CEP Discussion Papers dp1598, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    17. Carballo, Jerónimo & Schaur, Georg & Volpe Martincus, Christian, 2016. "Posts as Trade Facilitators," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7681, Inter-American Development Bank.
    18. Jie Bai & Maggie Chen & Daniel Xu, 2018. "Search and Information Frictions on Global E-Commerce Platforms: Evidence from Aliexpress," Working Papers 18-17, NET Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Trade ; Firm Relationships ; Learning ; Trade Dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis

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