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Firm-to-firm Connections in Colombian Imports


  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Esther A. Bøler
  • Swati Dhingra


The vast majority of world trade flows is between firms. Only recently has research in international trade started to emphasize the importance of the connections between exporters and importers both in aggregate trade flows and in the negative relationship between trade and geographic distance. This chapter documents the role of firm-to-firm connections in trade flows and the formation and duration of these importer-exporter relationships. Using customs data from Colombia for 1995-2014, we are able to identify both the Colombian importing firm and the foreign exporter in every Colombian import and export transaction. We document both the nature of these bilateral trading relationships and their evolution over time.

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  • Andrew B. Bernard & Esther A. Bøler & Swati Dhingra, 2018. "Firm-to-firm Connections in Colombian Imports," NBER Working Papers 24557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24557
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew B. Bernard & Andreas Moxnes, 2018. "Networks and Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 65-85, August.
    2. Zi, Yuan & Bernard, Andrew, 2022. "Sparse Production Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 17667, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Santiago Camara, 2022. "Granular Linkages, Supplier Cost Shocks & Export Performance," Papers 2203.07282,
    4. Sauré, Philip & Herkenhoff, Philipp & Krautheim, Sebastian, 2021. "A Simple Model of Buyer-Seller Networks in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 16278, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. C.J. Krizan & James Tybout & Zi Wang & Yingyan Zhao, 2020. "Are Customs Records Consistent Across Countries? Evidence from the U.S. and Colombia," Working Papers 20-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Spray, J., 2101. "Search Externalities in Firm-to-Firm Trade," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2108, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. Mundaca, Gabriela & Strand, Jon & Young, Ian R., 2021. "Carbon pricing of international transport fuels: Impacts on carbon emissions and trade activity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    8. Benguria, Felipe, 2021. "The matching and sorting of exporting and importing firms: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    9. Santiago Camara, 2022. "Does an increase in the cost of imported inputs hurt exports? Evidence from firms' network of foreign suppliers," Papers 2202.12811,
    10. Gimenez-Perales, Victor, 2024. "The dynamics of importer–exporter connections," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 161(C).
    11. Gimenez-Perales, Victor, 2022. "The Dynamics of Importer-Exporter Connections," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264066, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Fabio Vanni & Paolo Barucca, 2019. "Degree-correlations in a bursting dynamic network model," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 14(3), pages 663-695, September.

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    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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