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The Micro Dynamics of Exporting: Evidence from French Firms

  • 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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12940
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  1. James E. Rauch & Joel Watson, 1999. "Starting Small in an Unfamiliar Environment," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1218, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Facundo Albornoz & Hector F. Calvo Pardo & Gregory Corcos & Emanuel Ornelas, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," Discussion Papers 10-08, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  3. Luis Araujo & Emanuel Ornelas, 2007. "Trust-Based Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0820, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Romain Aeberhardt & Ines Buono & Harald Fadinger, 2012. "Learning, incomplete contracts and export dynamics: theory and evidence from French firms," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 883, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  5. Eaton, Jonathan & Eslava, Marcela & Kugler, Maurice & Tybout, James, 2007. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Paper Series rwp07-050, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lawless, Martina, 2009. "Firm export dynamics and the geography of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 245-254, April.
  8. Nicolas Berman & Antoine Berthou & Jérôme Héricourt, 2012. "Export dynamics and sales at home," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00988194, HAL.
  9. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting trade: firms, industries, and export destinations," Staff Report 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  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. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  13. Rubén Segura-Cayuela & Josep M. Vilarrubia, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0811, Banco de Espa�a.
  14. repec:oup:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:295-316 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Willis, Jonathan L. & Ruhl, Kim J., 2014. "New exporter dynamics," Research Working Paper RWP 14-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  17. 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 545-64, September.
  18. 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.
  19. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  20. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2001. "Market entry costs, producer heterogeneity and export dynamics," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 03-10, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  21. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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