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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
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12940
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  1. Jonathan Eaton & Marcela Eslava & Maurice Kugler & James Tybout, 2007. "Export Dynamics in Colombia:Firm-Level Evidence," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003957, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  2. Romain Aeberhardt & Ines Buono & Harald Fadinger, 2009. "Learning, Incomplete Contracts and Ecport Dynamics: Theory and Evidence from French Firms," Vienna Economics Papers 1006, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  3. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-54, November.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Development Working Papers 201, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  7. 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.
  8. Berman, Nicolas & Berthou, Antoine & Héricourt, Jérôme, 2014. "Export dynamics and sales at home," Working Paper Series 1720, European Central Bank.
  9. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Albornoz-Crespo, Facundo & Calvo Pardo, Hector F. & Corcos, Gregory & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2010. "Sequential Exporting," CEPR Discussion Papers 8103, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  12. Rubén Segura-Cayuela & Josep M. Vilarrubia, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0811, Banco de Espa�a.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Luis Araujo & Emanuel Ornelas, 2007. "Trust-based trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19693, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. 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.
  19. Josep M Vilarrubia & Rubén Segura-Cayuela, 2008. "Uncertainty and entry into export markets," 2008 Meeting Papers 661, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Lawless, Martina, 2007. "Firm Export Dynamics and the Geography of Trade," Research Technical Papers 2/RT/07, Central Bank of Ireland.
  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 545-64, September.
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