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Cultural Links, Firm Heterogeneity and the Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade

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  • Paulo Bastos
  • Joana Silva

Abstract

It is well known that cultural links between countries increase bilateral trade. In this paper we exploit Portuguese firm-level data on exports to 199 destinations to investigate the questions: How? Do cultural links increase the number of exporters, or the shipments per exporter? What is the role of firm heterogeneity? The results reveal that cultural links, measured by common language/colonial ties and emigrant communities, are significantly associated with a lower incidence of within-firm export zeros and with larger shipments per exporter. Furthermore, they show that the former of these relationships tends to be magnified by firm size, suggesting that firm heterogeneity is key in shaping the interplay between cultural links and the extensive margin of international trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulo Bastos & Joana Silva, "undated". "Cultural Links, Firm Heterogeneity and the Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," Discussion Papers 08/30, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:08/30
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    File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2008/08-30.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
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    4. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2010. "Structural gravity equations with intensive and extensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 41-62, February.
    5. Andersson, Martin, 2007. "Entry costs and adjustments on the extensive margin - an analysis of how familiarity breeds exports," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 81, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    6. Gould, David M, 1994. "Immigrant Links to the Home Country: Empirical Implications for U.S. Bilateral Trade Flows," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 302-316, May.
    7. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    8. Keith Head & John Ries, 1998. "Immigration and Trade Creation: Econometric Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 47-62, February.
    9. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    10. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    11. Melitz, Jacques, 2008. "Language and foreign trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 667-699, May.
    12. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
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