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The Gains from Input Trade in Firm-Based Models of Importing

Listed author(s):
  • Joaquin Blaum
  • Claire LeLarge
  • Michael Peters

Trade in intermediate inputs allows firms to lower their costs of production by using better, cheaper, or novel inputs from abroad. Quantifying the aggregate impact of input trade, however, is challenging. As importing firms differ markedly in how much they buy in foreign markets, results based on aggregate models do not apply. We develop a methodology to quantify the gains from input trade for a class of firm-based models of importing. We derive a sufficiency result: the change in consumer prices induced by input trade is fully determined from the joint distribution of value added and domestic expenditure shares in material spending across firms. We provide a simple formula that can be readily evaluated given the micro-data. In an application to French data, we find that consumer prices of manufacturing products would be 27% higher in the absence of input trade.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 21504.

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Date of creation: Aug 2015
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21504
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  1. 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, 09.
  2. Ana Cecília Fieler & Marcela Eslava & Daniel Xu, 2014. "Trade, Skills, and Quality Upgrading: A Theory with Evidence from Colombia," NBER Working Papers 19992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ezra Oberfield & Devesh Raval, 2012. "Micro data and macro technology," Working Paper Series WP-2012-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Panle Jia, 2008. "What Happens When Wal-Mart Comes to Town: An Empirical Analysis of the Discount Retailing Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1263-1316, November.
  5. Lorenzo Caliendo & Fernando Parro, 2015. "Estimates of the Trade and Welfare Effects of NAFTA," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-44.
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