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Intermediaries in international trade : Direct versus indirect modes of export

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew B. Bernard

    (Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
    CEPR
    NBER)

  • Marco Grazzi

    (LEM Scuola Superiore S.Anna)

  • Chiara Tomasi

    (LEM Scuola Superiore S.Anna
    Universita’ degli Studi di Trento)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the relatively new literature on the role of intermediaries in international trade. Using Italian firm-level data, we document significant differences between exporters of different types and highlight the role of country-specific fixed cost in the choice of direct versus indirect modes of export. Recent theoretical work suggests that intermediaries are typically providing solutions to country-specific fixed costs. Our empirical results largely confirm this relationship. Measures of country fixed costs are positively associated with intermediary exports both in the aggregate and within firms. In contrast, proxies for variable trade costs are largely not correlated with differences between direct and indirect exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Intermediaries in international trade : Direct versus indirect modes of export," Working Paper Research 199, National Bank of Belgium.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201010-199
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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