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How to Combine High Sunk Costs of Exporting and Low Export Survival


  • Persson, Maria

    () (Lund University)

  • Gullstrand, Joakim

    (Lund University)


In endeavouring to explain the empirical puzzle that the sunk costs of exporting are important, but that, at the same time, trade flows do not, on average, survive for very long, this paper explores the concepts of core and peripheral markets. First, it illustrates that if the importance of sunk costs as well as the expected future returns from exporting are different, depending on whether the export decision refers to a core or a peripheral market, it is plausible that while firms will tend to stay on the core market for a long time, they will enter and exit the peripheral market much more frequently. Second, using firm-product-destination-specific export data for all firms in the Swedish food chain for the period 1997-2007, an empirical test is carried out to ascertain whether there is support for the hypothesis that trade duration will be longer for core markets. Employing two variables that capture different aspects of the core/periphery dimension, it is found that firms will indeed tend to stay longer in their core markets, while export decisions regarding peripheral markets are much less long-term. The conclusion, therefore, is that the empirical puzzle can be explained by taking into account the fact that the trade hysteresis literature builds on data on the core market decision to export or not, and that the trade survival literature also includes data on decisions to stay in or exit peripheral markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Persson, Maria & Gullstrand, Joakim, 2013. "How to Combine High Sunk Costs of Exporting and Low Export Survival," Working Paper Series 962, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0962

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tomohiko Inui & Keiko Ito & Daisuke Miyakawa, 2017. "Export Experience, Product Differentiation and Firm Survival in Export Markets," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 217-231, June.
    2. Türkcan, Kemal, 2016. "On the role of vertical differentiation in enhancing survival of export flows: Evidence from a developing country," MPRA Paper 71023, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ingo Geishecker & Philipp J.H. Schröder & Allan Sørensen, 2016. "One-off Export Events," CESifo Working Paper Series 6207, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Joachim Wagner, 2016. "A survey of empirical studies using transaction level data on exports and imports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(1), pages 215-225, February.
    5. Türkcan, Kemal & Saygili, Hülya, 2017. "On the role of vertical differentiation in enhancing the survival of export flows: Evidence from a developing country," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-81, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Arnarson, Björn Thor, 2015. "Bridging Trade Barriers: Evaluating Models of Multi-Product Exporters," Working Papers 2015:6, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 14 Oct 2016.
    7. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Kimura, Fukunari & Laksanapanyakul, Nuttawut, 2016. "Firm-level trade creation and diversion of regional trade agreements in Thailand," IDE Discussion Papers 621, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    8. Aslihan Atabek Demirhan, 2016. "To be exporter or not to be exporter? Entry–exit dynamics of Turkish manufacturing firms," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 181-200, August.
    9. HAYAKAWA Kazunobu & MATSUURA Toshiyuki, 2017. "Overseas Production Expansion and Domestic Transaction Networks," Discussion papers 17085, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    10. Pişkin, Erhan, 2017. "Türkiye İhracatının Ölüm-Kalım Meselesi
      [The Matter of Survival for Turkish Exports]
      ," MPRA Paper 81459, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Sunk Costs; Trade Duration; Survival; Core v. Peripheral Markets; Sweden; Firm-Level Data; Discrete-Time Hazard Models;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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