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Why Do Within Firm-Product Export Prices Differ across Markets?


  • Holger Gorg

    () (Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, CEPR)

  • Laszlo Halpern

    () (Institute of Economics - Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Balazs Murakozy

    () (Institute of Economics - Hungarian Academy of Sciences)


In this paper we analyse the relationship between gravity variables and f.o.b. export unit values using Hungarian firm-product-destination data. By taking firm-product level selection into account we show that export unit values increase with distance even for particular firm-product combinations. This cannot be explained by models assuming firm- or even firm-product level selection and constant markups. The differences are important quantitatively; price differences in Hungarian exports between Germany and the US are about 30%. We also show that unit values are positively related to GDP/capita and that there is a weak negative relationship between unit values and market size. We propose two possible explanations: first, firms may export different quality versions of the same product to different markets. Secondly, directly exporting firms may capture part of the markups on transport costs in their f.o.b. prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Gorg & Laszlo Halpern & Balazs Murakozy, 2010. "Why Do Within Firm-Product Export Prices Differ across Markets?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1003, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2004. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1384-1402, December.
    2. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Multiproduct Firms and Trade Liberalization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1271-1318.
    3. Matthieu Crozet & Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "Quality Sorting and Trade: Firm-level Evidence for French Wine," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 609-644.
    4. Gábor Békés & Péter Harasztosi & Balázs Muraközy, 2009. "Firms and Products in International Trade: Data and Patterns for Hungary," CeFiG Working Papers 9, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 12 Oct 2009.
    5. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
    6. Judit Karsai, 2009. ""The End of the Golden Age" - The Developments of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Industry in Central and Eastern Europe," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0901, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    7. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2008. "Productivity, quality and exporting behavior under minimum quality constraints," MPRA Paper 24146, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    9. Richard Kneller & Zhihong Yu, "undated". "Quality Selection, Chinese Exports and Theories of Heterogeneous Firm Trade," Discussion Papers 08/44, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    10. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10148 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    export; price; selection; Hungary;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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