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Market size, competition, and the product mix of exporters

  • Thierry Mayer

    (Département d'économie)

  • Marc J. Melitz

    (Department of Economics)

  • Gianmarco Ottaviano

    (Università di Bologna)

We build a theoretical model of multi-product firms that highlights how market size and ge- ography (the market sizes of and bilateral economic distances to trading partners) affect both a firm's exported product range and its exported product mix across market destinations (the dis- tribution of sales across products for a given product range). We show how tougher competition in an export market induces a firm to skew its export sales towards its best performing products. We find very strong confirmation of this competitive effect for French exporters across export market destinations. Trade models based on exogenous markups cannot explain this strong sig- nificant link between destination market characteristics and the within-firm skewness of export sales (after controlling for bilateral trade costs). Theoretically, this within firm change in prod- uct mix driven by the trading environment has important repercussions on firm productivity and how it responds to changes in that trading environment.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8m210prh.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g8m210prh
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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 12782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carsten Eckel & J Peter Neary, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Working Papers 200608, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  4. Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic Geography and International Inequality," International Trade 0103003, EconWPA.
  5. Corocs Gregory & Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I P. Ottaviano, 2009. "Productivity and firm selection: quantifying the "new" gains from trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33249, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
  7. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Thierry Mayer, . "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 12.
  8. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2008. "Structural Gravity Equations with Intensive and Extensive Margins," Working Papers 2008-30, CEPII research center.
  9. Allanson, Paul & Montagna, Catia, 2005. "Multiproduct firms and market structure: An explorative application to the product life cycle," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 587-597, September.
  10. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, May.
  11. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2006. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2006038e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  14. Costas Arkolakis & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2010. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2006. "Globalization and Endogenous Firm Scope," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  16. Iacovone, Leonardo & Javorcik, Beata S., 2008. "Multi-product exporters : diversification and micro-level dynamics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4723, The World Bank.
  17. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit K. Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik, 2012. "Prices, Markups and Trade Reform," Working Papers 1403, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  18. James Harrigan & Haiyan Deng, 2010. "China's Local Comparative Advantage," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 109-133 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10147 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2011. "Gravity, market potential and economic development," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 281-294, March.
  21. Robert Feenstra & Hong Ma, 2007. "Optimal Choice of Product Scope for Multiproduct Firms under Monopolistic Competition," NBER Working Papers 13703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare & Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," 2010 Meeting Papers 433, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  23. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2007. "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms New facts based on firm-level evidence," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10147, Sciences Po.
  24. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Eckel, Carsten & Neary, J. P., 2010. "Multi-product firms and flexible manufacturing in the global economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20525, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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