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Pass-on Trade: Why do Firms Simultaneously engage in Two-Way Trade in the Same Varieties?

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  • Jože P. Damijan
  • Jozef Konings
  • Sašo Polanec

Abstract

This paper documents that a large fraction of trade flows at the firm level consists of simultaneous imports and exports in identical products, narrowly defined at the 8-digit product classification, which we call Pass-On Trade, POT. We use data on imports and exports at the firm–product level for Slovenian manufacturing firms in the period 1994-2008, to show that, on average, 70 percent of all exporting firms engage in POT. This corresponds to more than 50 percent of all exported products. Thus, imported products that are exported again by the same firm is a statistical regularity of trade of Slovenian manufacturing firms. We document that the use of POT is increasing in firm size, product diversification, multinational status as well as firm productivity and profitability. We offer and explore empirically a number of explanations for POT. Among possible explanations, we find evidence on the importance of firms’ multinational networks and demand complementarities between firms’ own and POT products. The latter confirms the theoretical explanations for ‘Carry-Along Trade’ (CAT) as developed by the recent work of Bernard et al (2010, 2012).

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  • Jože P. Damijan & Jozef Konings & Sašo Polanec, 2012. "Pass-on Trade: Why do Firms Simultaneously engage in Two-Way Trade in the Same Varieties?," LICOS Discussion Papers 31212, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:31212
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    5. Castellani, Davide & Fassio, Claudio, 2019. "From new imported inputs to new exported products. Firm-level evidence from Sweden," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 322-338.
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    14. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Engberg, Erik & Halvarsson, Daniel & Kokko, Ari & Tingvall, Patrik, 2019. "Wholesale firms: A catalyst for Swedish exports?," Ratio Working Papers 328, The Ratio Institute.
    15. João Amador & Sónia Cabral, 2014. "Global Value Chains: Surveying Drivers, Measures and Impacts," Working Papers w201403, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    pass-on trade; multi-product firms; two-way trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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