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The performance of large versus specialized firms: A study of firms importing apples into Norway


  • Straume, Hans-Martin

    () (Department of Economics, University of Bergen, and Department of Economics, BI Norwegian Business School)

  • Vårdal, Erling

    () (Department of Economics, University of Bergen)


We use highly disaggregated Norwegian custom data of importing firms to investigate differences in obtained import prices in the period 2003-2009. In addition to the importing firm we are also able to identify the foreign exporter. The obtained import prices are related to firm characteristics as size of the firm, degree of specialization and also the chosen invoicing currency. Our focus is on one single product; fresh apples. We find a surprisingly high variation in import prices. It turns out that the firm specific variables, largeness and specialization, result in significantly lower import prices. In addition, if apples are priced in the currency of the exporter, he must accept a 13-18 per cent drop in the price he obtains. This effect proves to be highly significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Straume, Hans-Martin & Vårdal, Erling, 2015. "The performance of large versus specialized firms: A study of firms importing apples into Norway," Working Papers in Economics 07/15, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2015_007

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    import prices; firm specific factors; transaction data; tariff regimes;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade

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