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The Micro Dynamics of Exporting: Evidence from French Firms

Listed author(s):
  • Buono, Ines
  • Fadinger, Harald
  • Berger, Stefan

This paper describes the dynamics of firms' exports to different countries. Using a panel of almost 19,000 French exporters, we define an export-relation as an observed positive export flow from a French firm to a destination. We establish the following facts: 1. There is a great deal of dynamics in firms' export relations that washes out at a more aggregate level; 2. Export values shipped by individual firms to specific destinations are very volatile: most of the changes occur within established export relations (intensive margin), with new relations or relations that are terminated (extensive margin)contributing little to adjustments in export value at firm level ; 3. Export flows within a newly-created relation involve very small values, often inferior to 1000 euros; 4. Export-relations are also very volatile. Moreover, from year to year single firms create and destroy relations simultaneously, and countries are simultaneously involved in the formation and termination of relations; 5. Formation or termination of export relations and changes in export values are explained mostly by firm-country specific shocks; 6. The share of relations continued from one year to the next is correlated with country characteristics: it is higher in bigger and closer markets. We discuss how those findings could be related to different kind of heterogeneous firm models and to a relation-specific trade model, arguing that the second one seems to fit more naturally all the documented facts.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/12940/1/MPRA_paper_12940.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12940.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12940
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  1. Lawless, Martina, 2009. "Firm export dynamics and the geography of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 245-254, April.
  2. Luis Araujo & Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Trust-Based Trade," IBMEC RJ Economics Discussion Papers 2005-08, Economics Research Group, IBMEC Business School - Rio de Janeiro.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Berman, Nicolas & Berthou, Antoine & Héricourt, Jérôme, 2015. "Export dynamics and sales at home," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 298-310.
  6. Aeberhardt, Romain & Buono, Ines & Fadinger, Harald, 2014. "Learning, incomplete contracts and export dynamics: Theory and evidence from French firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 219-249.
  7. 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.
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  10. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, 09.
  11. Bricongne, Jean-Charles & Fontagné, Lionel & Gaulier, Guillaume & Taglioni, Daria & Vicard, Vincent, 2010. "Exports and sectoral financial dependence: evidence on French firms during the great global crisis," Working Paper Series 1227, European Central Bank.
  12. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
  13. Albornoz, Facundo & Calvo Pardo, Héctor F. & Corcos, Gregory & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2012. "Sequential exporting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 17-31.
  14. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
  15. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, 05.
  16. Antoine Berthou & Lionel Fontagné, 2013. "How do Multiproduct Exporters React to a Change in Trade Costs?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 326-353, 04.
  17. Rauch, James E. & Watson, Joel, 2003. "Starting small in an unfamiliar environment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 1021-1042, September.
  18. Jonathan Eaton, Marcela Eslava, Maurice Kugler,James Tybout, 1970. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Papers eg0036, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 1970.
  19. 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.
  20. Jonathan L. Willis & Kim J. Ruhl, 2009. "New Exporter Dynamics," 2009 Meeting Papers 111, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  21. 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.
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