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Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations

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  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Samuel Kortum
  • Francis Kramarz

Abstract

We examine entry across 113 national markets in 16 different industries using a comprehensive data set of French manufacturing firms. The data are unique in indicating how much each firm exports to each destination. Looking across all manufacturers: (1) Firms differ substantially in export participation, with most selling only at home; (2) The number of firms selling to multiple markets falls off with the number of destinations with an elasticity of -2.5; (3) Decomposing French exports to each destination into the size of the market and French share, variation in market share translates nearly completely into firm entry while about 60 percent of the variation in market size is reflected in firm entry. Looking within each of 16 industries we find little variation in these patterns. We propose that any successful model of trade and market structure must confront these facts.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," NBER Working Papers 10344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10344
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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 545-564, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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