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Trade Crisis ? What Trade Crisis ?

  • Kristian Behrens
  • Gregory Corcos
  • Giordano Mion

We investigate the dramatic 2008-2009 trade collapse using microdata from a small open economy, Belgium. Belgian trade essentially fell because of reduced quantities and unit prices, rather than fewer firms involved in international transactions, fewer trading partners per firm, or fewer products traded. Our difference-in-difference results point to a fall in the demand or tradables – especially durables and capital goods – as the main driver of the recent collapse. Finance and involvement in global value chains player only minor roles. Firm-level exports-to-turnover and imports-to-intermediates – as well as exports-to-production and imports-to-production – ratios reveal a comparable collapse of domestic and cross-border operations. Access to credit affected both types of activities to the same extent. Overall, our results point to a general fall in demand and not a crisis of Belgian cross-border trade per se.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1117.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1117
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  1. Bricongne, J-C. & Fontagné, L. & Gaulier, G. & Taglioni, D. & Vicard, V., 2009. "Firms and the global crisis: French exports in the turmoil," Working papers 265, Banque de France.
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  3. Mary Amiti & David E. Weinstein, 2009. "Exports and Financial Shocks," NBER Working Papers 15556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kristian Behrens & Giordano Mion, 2010. "Trade crisis? What trade crisis?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48910, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "The great trade collapse of 2008-2009: an inventory adjustment?," Working Papers 10-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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  9. Berman, Nicolas & Martin, Philippe, 2010. "The vulnerability of sub-Saharan Africa to the financial crisis: the case of trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Iacovone, Leonardo & Zavacka, Veronika, 2009. "Banking crises and exports : lessons from the past," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5016, The World Bank.
  12. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
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  14. David S. Jacks & Christopher M. Meissner & Dennis Novy, 2009. "Trade Booms, Trade Busts, and Trade Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 2767, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "The Great Trade Collapse of 2008-09: An Inventory Adjustment?," NBER Working Papers 16059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Logan Lewis & Linda Tesar & Andrei Levchenko, 2010. "The Collapse of International Trade During the 2008-2009 Crisis: In Search of the Smoking Gun," 2010 Meeting Papers 109, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné & David Khoudour-Castéras, 2009. "Economic Crisis and Global Supply Chains," Working Papers 2009-15, CEPII research center.
  18. Araújo, Sónia & Oliveira Martins, Joaquim, 2011. "The Great Synchronisation : tracking the trade collapse with high-frequency data," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/8088, Paris Dauphine University.
  19. Jonah B. Gelbach & Doug Miller, 2009. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," Working Papers 99, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  20. Freund, Caroline, 2009. "The trade response to global downturns : historical evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5015, The World Bank.
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