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Cross-Industry Heterogeneity in Export Participation: The Role of Scale Economies in R&D

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Abstract

This paper shows that the R&D intensity of an industry plays an important role in determining international trade patterns via its e¤ect on scale economies. I first develop a model of trade with heterogeneous firms where firms compete with each other by spending on fixed product development costs such as R&D. The model predicts that a larger share of firms are exporters in industries where R&D is a large component of total costs. The model also predicts that R&D-intense industries are less sensitive to trade costs. I find empirical support for these predictions using firm-level data for Swedish manufacturing industries. The results also highlight the importance of controlling for firm size when measuring the firm extensive margin of exports.

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  • Ferguson, Shon, 2012. "Cross-Industry Heterogeneity in Export Participation: The Role of Scale Economies in R&D," Working Paper Series 930, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0930
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
    2. Schmalensee, Richard, 1992. "Sunk Costs and Market Structure: A Review Article," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 125-134, June.
    3. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2011. "Zeros, Quality, and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 60-88, May.
    4. Gonzague Vannoorenberghe, 2011. "Trade between symmetric countries, heterogeneous firms, and the skill premium," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 148-170, February.
    5. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2010. "Structural gravity equations with intensive and extensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 41-62, February.
    7. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    8. Maria Bas, 2008. "Trade, Technology Adoption and Wage Inequalities: Theory and Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0902, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. 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.
    10. Maria Bas, 2008. "Trade, Technology Adoption and Wage Inequalities: Theory and Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0902, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Chen, Natalie & Novy, Dennis, 2011. "Gravity, trade integration, and heterogeneity across industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 206-221.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lisandra Flach & Florian Unger, 2016. "Quality and Gravity in International Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 6080, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Trade; Trade Costs; Endogenous Sunk Costs;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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