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Sizing Up the Impact of Embassies on Exports

  • Ferguson, Shon


    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Forslid, Rikard


    (Stockholm University)

The purpose of this study is to test for the effects of trade promotion via the foreign service. We develop a Melitz-based model where firms are heterogeneous with respect to productivity and must pay a beachhead cost to enter a foreign market, which can be reduced by government spending on trade promotion. The model predicts that unilateral trade promotion allows medium-sized firms to export. We test this prediction using Swedish firm-level data and information on the opening and closing of Swedish embassies abroad using Norwegian firms as control group. Our results lend support to the predictions of the model, with large and medium-sized firms responding most strongly to the opening of embassies.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 1012.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 04 Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1012
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
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  1. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  2. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
  4. Breinlich, Holger & Cuñat, Alejandro, 2010. "Trade Liberalization and Heterogeneous Firm Models: An Evaluation Using the Canada - US Free Trade Agreement," CEPR Discussion Papers 7668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Christian Volpe Martincus & Jerónimo Carballo & Pablo M. García, 2010. "Public Programs to Promote Firms' Exports in Developing Countries: Are There Heterogeneous Effects by Size Categories?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 36764, Inter-American Development Bank.
  6. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
  7. Volpe Martincus, Christian & Carballo, Jerónimo, 2008. "Is export promotion effective in developing countries? Firm-level evidence on the intensive and the extensive margins of exports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 89-106, September.
  8. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Rose, Andrew K, 2005. "The Foreign Service and Foreign Trade: Embassies as Export Promotion," CEPR Discussion Papers 4953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Persson, Maria, 2010. "Trade Facilitation and the Extensive Margin," Working Paper Series 828, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. Görg, Holger & Henry, Michael & Strobl, Eric, 2008. "Grant support and exporting activity," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 4288, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  12. Sourafel Girma & Yundan Gong & Holger Gˆrg & Zhihong Yu, 2009. "Can Production Subsidies Explain China's Export Performance? Evidence from Firm-level Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 863-891, December.
  13. Akerman, Anders & Forslid, Rikard, 2007. "Country Size, Productivity and Trade Share Convergence: An Analysis of Heterogenous Firms and Country Size Dependent Beachhead Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 6545, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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