IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Distance Sensitivity of Export: A Firm-Product Level Approach




Recent literature suggests that the extent to which exports of a product is influenced by distance depends on the product characteristics. Differentiated products with non-standardised attributes are typically claimed to be more distance-sensitive as transactions should involve interactions between buyers and sellers. But the empirical evidence still finds conflicting results. Previous studies have examined the effect of distance on export values across different product groups. This paper employs a gravity model on Swedish firm-product level export data to analyse the effect of distance on the export decisions as well as export values, respectively. The focus is on how the influence of distance varies across differentiated and non-differentiated products. For both export participation and intensity decisions, the results are not in line with the network/search view and suggest that homogeneous products are more sensitive to distance than differentiated products when controlling for annual shocks and industry heterogeneity. Moreover, I find evidence of a learning effect from past trade experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Jienwatcharamongkhol, Viroj, 2013. "Distance Sensitivity of Export: A Firm-Product Level Approach," Ratio Working Papers 220, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0220

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    2. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-481, August.
    3. Josep M Vilarrubia & Rubén Segura-Cayuela, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," 2008 Meeting Papers 661, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Joachim Wagner, 2011. "From Estimation Results to Stylized Facts Twelve Recommendations for Empirical Research in International Activities of Heterogeneous Firms," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(4), pages 389-412, December.
    5. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2011. "Structural Estimation of Gravity Models with Path-Dependent Market Entry," FIW Research Reports series III-007, FIW.
    6. Maureen Lankhuizen & Thomas De Graaff & Henri De Groot, 2012. "Product Heterogeneity, Intangible Barriers & Distance Decay: The effect of multiple dimensions of distance on trade across different product categories," ERSA conference papers ersa12p151, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Gert-Jan M. Linders & Henri L.F. de Groot, 2006. "Estimation of the Gravity Equation in the Presence of Zero Flows," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-072/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Martina Lawless & Karl Whelan, 2014. "Where Do Firms Export, How Much and Why?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(8), pages 1027-1050, August.
    9. G.J.M. Linders, 2006. "Estimation of the Gravity Equation of Bilateral Trade in the Presence of Zero Flows," ERSA conference papers ersa06p746, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Huang, Rocco R., 2007. "Distance and trade: Disentangling unfamiliarity effects and transport cost effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 161-181, January.
    11. Christopher F Baum, 2008. "Stata tip 63: Modeling proportions," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 299-303, June.
    12. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
    13. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    14. Martina Lawless, 2010. "Deconstructing gravity: trade costs and extensive and intensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1149-1172, November.
    15. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    16. Maureen B. M. Lankhuizen & Thomas De Graaff & Henri L. F. de Groot, 2015. "Product Heterogeneity, Intangible Barriers and Distance Decay: The Effect of Multiple Dimensions of Distance on Trade across Different Product Categories," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 137-159, June.
    17. Gert-Jan M. Linders & Henri L.F. de Groot & Piet Rietveld, 2005. "Institutional Determinants of Bilateral Trade: An Analysis according to Product Type," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-023/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    18. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    19. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Davidson, Carl & Heyman, Fredrik & Matusz, Steven & Sjöholm, Fredrik & Zhu, Susan Chun, 2017. "Global engagement and the occupational structure of firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 273-292.
    3. Patrik Karpaty & Patrik Tingvall, 2015. "Service Offshoring and Corruption: Do Firms Escape Corrupt Countries?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 363-381, December.

    More about this item


    distance sensitivity; export decisions; gravity model; firmproduct level; micro-data;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0220. 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: (Martin Korpi). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.