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Product Mix and Firm Productivity Responses to Trade Competition

Author

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  • Thierry Mayer
  • Marc J. Melitz
  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

Abstract

We document how demand shocks in export markets lead French multi-product exporters to re-allocate the mix of products sold in those destinations. In response to positive demand shocks, those French firms skew their export sales towards their best performing products; and also extend the range of products sold to that market. We develop a theoretical model of multi-product firms and derive the specific demand conditions needed to generate these product-mix reallocations. These demand conditions are associated with endogenous price elasticities that satisfy Marshall's Second Law of Demand (the price elasticity of demand decreases with consumption). Under these demand conditions, our theoretical model highlights how the increased competition from demand shocks in export markets – and the induced product mix reallocations – induce productivity changes within the firm. We then empirically test for this connection between the demand shocks and the productivity of multi-product firms exporting to those destinations. We find that the effect of those demand shocks on productivity are substantial – and explain an important share of aggregate productivity fluctuations for French manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2016. "Product Mix and Firm Productivity Responses to Trade Competition," NBER Working Papers 22433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22433
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Parenti, Mathieu & Ushchev, Philip & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2017. "Toward a theory of monopolistic competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 86-115.
    2. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2009. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 557-592 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Arpita Chatterjee & Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Jade Vichyanond, 2013. "Multi-product Firms and Exchange Rate Fluctuations," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 77-110, May.
    4. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-level Productivity…For Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & Andreas Moxnes & Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 2018. "Two-Sided Heterogeneity and Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 424-439, July.
    6. Gaulier, Guillaume & Zignago, Soledad, 2004. "Notes on BACI (analytical database of international trade). 1989-2002 version," MPRA Paper 32401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
    8. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Li, Hongbin & Ma, Hong & Xu, Yuan, 2015. "How do exchange rate movements affect Chinese exports? — A firm-level investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 148-161.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jacques-François Thisse & Philip Ushchev, 2018. "Monopolistic competition without apology," Chapters,in: Handbook of Game Theory and Industrial Organization, Volume I, chapter 5, pages 93-136 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    3. Parenti, Mathieu & Ushchev, Philip & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2017. "Toward a theory of monopolistic competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 86-115.
    4. Andrea Ariu & Florian Mayneris & Mathieu Parenti, 2018. "One way to the top : How services boost the demand for goods," Working Paper Research 340, National Bank of Belgium.
    5. Matteo Bugamelli & Silvia Fabiani & Stefano Federico & Alberto Felettigh & Claire Giordano & Andrea Linarello, 2018. "Back on Track? A Macro–Micro Narrative of Italian Exports," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, March.
    6. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2017. "Multi-product firms and product quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 116-137.
    7. repec:eee:inecon:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:103-118 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Li, Chenhui & Lian, Xubei & Zhang, Zhi, 2018. "Public education expenditure, institution development, and regional innovations: An empirical evidence from China," Economics Discussion Papers 2018-23, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Aksel (A.) Erbahar, 2018. "Two Worlds Apart? Export Demand Shocks and Domestic Sales," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-062/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Diyue Guo, 2018. "Multiproduct Firms and the Business Cycle," 2018 Meeting Papers 1205, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates & Giammario Impullitti, 2018. "Innovation and Trade Policy in a Globalized World," Working Papers id:12756, eSocialSciences.
    12. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:4:p:645-649 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Matteo Bugamelli & Francesca Lotti & Monica Amici & Emanuela Ciapanna & Fabrizio Colonna & Francesco D’Amuri & Silvia Giacomelli & Andrea Linarello & Francesco Manaresi & Giuliana Palumbo & Filippo Sc, 2018. "Productivity growth in Italy: a tale of a slow-motion change," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 422, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. repec:nbr:nberch:14095 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Andrew Garin & Filipe Silverio, 2017. "How Does Firm Performance Affect Wages? Evidence from Idiosyncratic Export Shocks," 2017 Papers pga940, Job Market Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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