IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012:32.

in new window

Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 27 Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2012_032
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden

Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Costas Arkolakis & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2010. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3309, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Wolfgang Hess & Maria Persson, 2012. "The duration of trade revisited," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 1083-1107, December.
  3. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  5. Paul Brenton & Christian Saborowski & Erik von Uexkull, 2010. "What Explains the Low Survival Rate of Developing Country Export Flows?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(3), pages 474-499, December.
  6. Nitsch, Volker, 2008. "Die another day: duration in German import trade," Discussion Papers 2008/17, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  7. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Development Working Papers 201, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  8. Görg, Holger & Kneller, Richard & Muraközy, Balázs, 2007. "What Makes a Successful Export?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6614, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Gullstrand, Joakim, 2011. "Firm and destination-specific export costs: The case of the Swedish food sector," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 204-213, April.
  12. Hess, Wolfgang & Persson, Maria, 2010. "Exploring the Duration of EU Imports," Working Paper Series 849, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  13. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, 05.
  14. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. Cadot, Olivier & Iacovone, Leonardo & Pierola, Denisse & Rauch, Ferdinand, 2011. "Success and failure of African exporters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5657, The World Bank.
  16. Békés, Gábor & Muraközy, Balázs, 2012. "Temporary trade and heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 232-246.
  17. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence from Firm-level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 60-82, 01.
  18. Avinash Dixit, 1992. "Investment and Hysteresis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 107-132, Winter.
  19. Avinash Dixit, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-228.
  20. Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2011. "The role of extensive and intensive margins and export growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 371-379, November.
  21. Bosco Sabuhoro, Jean & Gervais, Yvan, 2004. "Factors Determining the Success or Failure of Canadian Establishments on Foreign Markets: A Survival Analysis Approach," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004220e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  22. Silviano Esteve-Pérez & Francisco Requena-Silvente & Vicente J. Pallardó-Lopez, 2013. "The Duration Of Firm-Destination Export Relationships: Evidence From Spain, 1997–2006," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 159-180, 01.
  23. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  24. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Satu Nurmi, 2010. "Dynamics of Export Market Entry and Exit," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(1), pages 101-126, 03.
  25. Jorge Tovar & Luis Roberto Martínez, 2011. "Diversification, Networks and the Survival of Exporting Firms," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 008733, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  26. Fishman, Arthur & Rob, Rafael, 2003. "Consumer inertia, firm growth and industry dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 24-38, March.
  27. A. Colin Cameron & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2010. "Microeconometrics Using Stata, Revised Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, number musr, September.
  28. Mélise Jaud & Madina Kukenova, 2011. "Financial development and survival of African agri-food exports," Working Papers halshs-00586320, HAL.
  29. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  30. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 2002. "Productivity, Output, and Failure: A Comparison of Taiwanese and Korean Manufacturers," NBER Working Papers 8766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Harold Creusen & Arjan Lejour, 2011. "Uncertainty and the export decisions of Dutch firms," FIW Working Paper series 069, FIW.
  32. Ana Cristina Molina & Marco Fugazza, 2009. "The determinants of trade survival," IHEID Working Papers 05-2009, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Jun 2009.
  33. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity (DOI:10.111/j.1467-937x.2007.00463.x)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 985-985.
  34. Christian Volpe Martincus & Jerónimo Carballo, 2008. "Survival of New Exporters in Developing Countries: Does it Matter How They Diversify?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9291, Inter-American Development Bank.
  35. Tibor Besedes & Thomas Prusa, 2006. "Ins, outs, and the duration of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 266-295, February.
  36. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  37. Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Martha Denisse, 2010. "Export entrepreneurs : evidence from Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5407, The World Bank.
  38. Paul Dobson & Michael Waterson, 1999. "Retailer power: recent developments and policy implications," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 133-164, 04.
  39. Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2006. "Product differentiation and duration of US import trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-358, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2012_032. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Edgerton)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.