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

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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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 930.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0930
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
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  1. Maria Bas, 2008. "Trade, Technology Adoption and Wage Inequalities: Theory and Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0902, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. 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.
  3. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade liberalization, exports and technology upgrading: Evidence on the impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean firms," Economics Working Papers 1173, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Baldwin, Richard & Harrigan, James, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6368, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Schmalensee, Richard, 1992. "Sunk Costs and Market Structure: A Review Article," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 125-34, June.
  6. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2008. "Structural Gravity Equations with Intensive and Extensive Margins," Working Papers 2008-30, CEPII research center.
  7. Maria Bas, 2008. "Trade, technology adoption and wage inequalities: theory and evidence," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586858, HAL.
  8. 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.
  9. Chen, Natalie & Novy, Dennis, 2011. "Gravity, trade integration, and heterogeneity across industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 206-221.
  10. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
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