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Exporters and Shocks: Dissecting the International Elasticity Puzzle

  • Doireann Fitzgerald
  • Stefanie Haller

Aggregate exports are not very responsive to real exchange rates, though they respond strongly to trade liberalizations, a fact sometimes referred to as the International Elasticity Puzzle. We use micro data on firms and exports for Ireland to dissect the puzzle. Our identification strategy uses within-firm-year cross-market variation in real exchange rates and tariffs to identify the responses of export participation, export revenue and the product dimension of exporting to these variables. We show that (i) the weak response of export revenue of long-time market participants to real exchange rates is key to the behavior of aggregate exports, (ii) export participation also responds less to real exchange rates than to tariffs, but this alone cannot explain the puzzle; and (iii) the revenue response of long-time market participants cannot be accounted for by product entry responses. Hence any model that can successfully account for the puzzle needs to match the intensive margin responses of exporting firms.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19968.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19968
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  1. Eduardo Morales & Gloria Sheu & Andrés Zahler, 2014. "Gravity and Extended Gravity: Using Moment Inequalities to Estimate a Model of Export Entry," NBER Working Papers 19916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2001. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bernard, Andrew B. & Massari, Renzo & Reyes, Jose-Daniel & Taglioni, Daria, 2014. "Exporter Dynamics, Firm Size and Growth, and Partial Year Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 9844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Costas Arkolakis, 2008. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lukasz A. Drozd & Jaromir B. Nosal, 2012. "Understanding International Prices: Customers as Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 364-95, February.
  10. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  11. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "How do Different Exporters React to Exchange Rate Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 437-492.
  13. Knetter, Michael M, 1989. "Price Discrimination by U.S. and German Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 198-210, March.
  14. Ilke Van Beveren & Andrew B. Bernard & Hylke Vandenbussche, 2012. "Concording EU Trade and Production Data over Time," NBER Working Papers 18604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Campa, Jose M., 2000. "Exchange rates and trade: How important is hysteresis in trade?," IESE Research Papers D/427, IESE Business School.
  16. Samuel S. Kortum & Jonathan Eaton & Costas Arkolakis, 2011. "Staggered Adjustment and Trade Dynamics," 2011 Meeting Papers 1322, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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