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How Exporters Grow

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  • Doireann Fitzgerald
  • Stefanie Haller
  • Yaniv Yedid-Levi

Abstract

We show that in successful episodes of export market entry, there are statistically and economically significant post-entry dynamics of quantities, but no post-entry dynamics of markups. This suggests that shifts in demand play an important role in successful entry, but that firms do not use dynamic manipulation of markups as an instrument to shift demand. We structurally estimate two competing models of customer base accumulation to match these moments. In the first model, firms use marketing and advertising to acquire new customers and thereby shift demand and increase sales. In the second, they use temporarily low markups to do so. The marketing and advertising model fits the quantity and markup moments well, and implies that successful entry is associated with high selling expenses. The second model cannot simultaneously fit quantity and markup moments, even with a counterfactually high price elasticity of demand and trade elasticity. We conclude that successful market entry is more likely to be associated with high selling expenses than low markups.

Suggested Citation

  • Doireann Fitzgerald & Stefanie Haller & Yaniv Yedid-Levi, 2016. "How Exporters Grow," NBER Working Papers 21935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21935
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Doireann Fitzgerald & Stefanie Haller, 2014. "Exporters and Shocks: Dissecting the International Elasticity Puzzle," Working Papers 201408, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    2. Alessandria, George & Choi, Horag, 2014. "Establishment heterogeneity, exporter dynamics, and the effects of trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 207-223.
    3. Paulo Bastos & Daniel A. Dias & Olga A. Timoshenko, 2018. "Learning, prices and firm dynamics," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 51(4), pages 1257-1311, November.
    4. Costas Arkolakis, 2016. "A Unified Theory of Firm Selection and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 89-155.
    5. Nicolas Berman & Vincent Rebeyrol & Vincent Vicard, 2019. "Demand Learning and Firm Dynamics: Evidence from Exporters," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 91-106, March.
    6. George Alessandria & Horag Choi & Kim Ruhl, 2014. "Trade Adjustment Dynamics and the Welfare Gains from Trade," Working Papers 14-11, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    7. Lukasz A. Drozd & Jaromir B. Nosal, 2012. "Understanding International Prices: Customers as Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 364-395, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Costas Arkolakis & Theodore Papageorgiou & Olga Timoshenko, 2018. "Firm Learning and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 146-168, January.
    10. Albornoz, Facundo & Calvo Pardo, Héctor F. & Corcos, Gregory & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2012. "Sequential exporting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 17-31.
    11. Doireann Fitzgerald & Stefanie Haller, 2014. "Pricing-to-Market: Evidence From Plant-Level Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 761-786.
    12. Marcela Eslava & James Tybout & David Jinkins & C. Krizan & Jonathan Eaton, 2015. "A Search and Learning Model of Export Dynamics," 2015 Meeting Papers 1535, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Colin J. Hottman & Stephen J. Redding & David E. Weinstein, 2016. "Quantifying the Sources of Firm Heterogeneity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1291-1364.
    14. Timoshenko, Olga A., 2015. "Product switching in a model of learning," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 233-249.
    15. 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.
    16. Timoshenko, Olga A., 2015. "Learning versus sunk costs explanations of export persistence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 113-128.
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    Cited by:

    1. George Alessandria & Horag Choi & Kim Ruhl, 2014. "Trade Adjustment Dynamics and the Welfare Gains from Trade," NBER Working Papers 20663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Boehm, Christoph & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Pandalai-Nayar, Nitya, 2020. "The Long and Short (Run) of Trade Elasticities," CEPR Discussion Papers 14645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Gumpert, Anna & Li, Haishi & Moxnes, Andreas & Ramondo, Natalia & Tintelnot, Felix, 2020. "The life-cycle dynamics of exporters and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    4. Nicolas Berman & Vincent Rebeyrol & Vincent Vicard, 2019. "Demand Learning and Firm Dynamics: Evidence from Exporters," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 91-106, March.
    5. Sun, Puyang & Hou, Xinyu & Tan, Yong, 2017. "Export Rivalry and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," MPRA Paper 83369, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Simon Gilchrist & Raphael Schoenle & Jae Sim & Egon Zakrajšek, 2017. "Inflation Dynamics during the Financial Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 785-823, March.
    7. CHEN Cheng & SENGA Tatsuro & SUN Chang & ZHANG Hongyong, 2018. "Uncertainty, Imperfect Information, and Expectation Formation over the Firm's Life Cycle," Discussion papers 18010, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Stefania Garetto & Lindsay Oldenski & Natalia Ramondo, 2019. "Multinational Expansion in Time and Space," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2019-08, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    9. Fitzgerald, Doireann & Haller, Stefanie, 2018. "Exporters and shocks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 154-171.
    10. CHEN Cheng & SUN Chang & ZHANG Hongyong, 2019. "Learning and Information Transmission within Multinational Corporations," Discussion papers 19053, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. Tan, Yong & Zhao, Chen, 2017. "New Exporters and Continuing Exporters under Exchange Rate Fluctuations," MPRA Paper 77244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Costas Arkolakis & Theodore Papageorgiou & Olga Timoshenko, 2018. "Firm Learning and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 146-168, January.
      • Costas Arkolakis & Theodore Papageorgiou & Olga A. Timoshenko, 2015. "Firm Learning and Growth," Working Papers 2015-5, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    13. Sebastian Heise, 2016. "Firm-to-Firm Relationships and Price Rigidity - Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6226, CESifo.
    14. Parisa Kamali, 2019. "Exporting Through Intermediaries: Impact on Export Dynamics and Welfare," IMF Working Papers 19/302, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Sebastian Heise, 2019. "Firm-to-Firm Relationships and the Pass-Through of Shocks: Theory and Evidence," Staff Reports 896, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    16. Brendan Epstein & Alan Finkelstein Shapiro & Andres Gonzalez Gomez, 2017. "Financial Disruptions and the Cyclical Upgrading of Labor," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 204-224, October.
    17. Pau Roldán & Sonia Gilbukh, 2018. "Firm dynamics and pricing under customer capital accumulation," Working Papers 1838, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    18. David Argente & Munseob Lee & Sara Moreira, 2018. "How do Firms Grow? The Life Cycle of Products Matters," 2018 Meeting Papers 1174, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Yaniv Yedid-Levi & Stefanie Haller & Doireann Fitzgerald, 2017. "How Firms Grow," 2017 Meeting Papers 1294, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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