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Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods

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Listed:
  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • J. Bradford Jensen
  • Peter K. Schott

Abstract

This paper provides an integrated view of globally engaged U.S. firms by exploring a newly developed dataset that links U.S. international trade transactions to longitudinal data on U.S. enterprises. These data permit examination of a number of new dimensions of firm activity, including how many products firms trade, how many countries firms trade with, the characteristics of those countries, the concentration of trade across firms, whether firms transact at arms length or with related parties, and whether firms import as well as export. Firms that trade goods play an important role in the U.S., employing more than a third of the U.S. workforce. We find that the most globally engaged U.S. firms, i.e. those that both export to and import from related parties, dominate U.S. trade flows and employment at trading firms. We also find that firms that begin trading between 1993 and 2000 experience especially rapid employment growth and are a major force in overall job creation.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2005. "Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," NBER Working Papers 11404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11404
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    2. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan & Szeidl, Adam, 2006. "Optimal integration strategies for the multinational firm," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 216-238, September.
    3. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
    4. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 552-580, June.
    5. Megan MacGarvie, 2006. "Do Firms Learn from International Trade?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 46-60, February.
    6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1999. "Exporting and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 7135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Andrew B. Bernard, 2004. "Exporting and Productivity in the USA," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 343-357, Autumn.
    9. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Vertical Production Networks in Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 664-678, November.
    10. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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