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Firm Heterogeneity and the Geography of International Trade

Author

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  • David Greenaway
  • Joakim Gullstrand
  • Richard Kneller

Abstract

A key distinction which has emerged from heterogeneous firm models of international trade is that of exporting at the intensive and extensive margins. Empirically however, the two are often conflated, leading to biased estimates of the impact of falling trade costs. This paper exploits detailed firm level data, which includes information on the destination of exports to investigate causal links between enterprise productivity and the number of markets a firm serves as well as the relative size of those markets. Our focus is Sweden’s Food and Beverage sector, which is not only highly open, but has been subject to policy induced changes in trade costs (as well as falling natural barriers) over our sample period. We have data on almost 10,000 firm / time / destination observations across 6 years and 138 destinations. Our results confirm that conflating adjustment at the internal and external margins does bias trade resistance effects. Combining detailed firm specific information with data on destination characteristics confirms the importance of a range of country specific characteristics (including exchange rate risk) and facilitates the estimation of both distance and market size elasticities, from firm level data.

Suggested Citation

  • David Greenaway & Joakim Gullstrand & Richard Kneller, "undated". "Firm Heterogeneity and the Geography of International Trade," Discussion Papers 08/41, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:08/41
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    File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2008/08-41.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    2. Karolina Ekholm & Rikard Forslid & James R. Markusen, 2007. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 776-795, June.
    3. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 150-154, May.
    4. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    5. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    6. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2003. "The complex integration strategies of multinationals and cross country dependencies in the structure of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 293-314, August.
    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. 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.
    9. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    10. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 134-161, February.
    11. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 2001. "Export entry and exit by German firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bengt Söderlund & Patrik Tingvall, 2014. "Dynamic effects of institutions on firm-level exports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 277-308, May.
    2. Karpaty, Patrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2011. "Offshoring of Services and Corruption: Do Firms Escape Corrupt Countries?," Working Papers 2011:2, Örebro University, School of Business, revised 28 May 2012.
    3. Wagner, Joachim, 2011. "Productivity and International Firm Activities: What Do We Know?," IZA Policy Papers 23, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Heyman Fredrik & Tingvall Patrik Gustavsson, 2015. "The Dynamics of Offshoring and Institutions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 1975-2016, October.
    5. Yvonne Wolfmayr & Elisabeth Christen & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2013. "Pattern, Determinants and Dynamics of Austrian Service Exports – A Firmlevel Analysis," FIW Research Reports series IV-005, FIW.
    6. Kneller, Richard & McGowan, Danny & Inui, Tomohiko & Matsuura, Toshiyuki, 2012. "Globalisation, multinationals and productivity in Japan’s lost decade," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 110-128.
    7. Gullstrand, Joakim & Olofsdotter, Karin & Thede, Susanna, 2011. "Markups and export pricing," Working Papers 2011:37, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    8. Tingvall, Patrik, 2011. "Dynamic Effects of Corruption on Offshoring," Ratio Working Papers 182, The Ratio Institute.
    9. Kokko, Ari & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2012. "The Eurovision Song Contest, Preferences and European Trade," Ratio Working Papers 183, The Ratio Institute.

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