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Exporters and Shocks: Dissecting the International Elasticity Puzzle

  • Doireann Fitzgerald

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

  • Stefanie Haller

    (University College Dublin)

Aggregate exports are not very responsive to real exchange rates, though they re- spond strongly to trade liberalizations, a fact sometimes referred to as the International Elasticity Puzzle. We use micro data on firms and exports for Ireland to dissect the puzzle. Our identification strategy uses within-firm-year cross-market variation in real exchange rates and tariffs to identify the responses of export participation, export rev- enue and the product dimension of exporting to these variables. We show that (i) the weak response of export revenue of long-time market participants to real exchange rates is key to the behavior of aggregate exports, (ii) export participation also responds less to real exchange rates than to tariffs, but this alone cannot explain the puzzle; and (iii) the revenue response of long-time market participants cannot be accounted for by product entry responses. Hence any model that can successfully account for the puzzle needs to match the intensive margin responses of exporting firms.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201408.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 17 Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201408
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Massari, Renzo & Reyes, Jose-Daniel & Taglioni, Daria, 2013. "Exporter dynamics, firm size and growth, and partial year effects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6711, The World Bank.
  2. Costas Arkolakis, 2008. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Campa, Jose Manuel, 2004. "Exchange rates and trade: How important is hysteresis in trade?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 527-548, June.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  5. Richard Baldwin, 1988. "Hysteresis In Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," NBER Working Papers 2545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bernard, Andrew B. & van Beveren, Ilke & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2012. "Concording EU Trade and Production Data over Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 9254, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "How do Different Exporters React to Exchange Rate Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 437-492.
  8. Stephen J Redding & Peter K Schott & Andrew B Bernard, 2007. "Multi-product Firms and Trade Liberalization," 2007 Meeting Papers 44, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Knetter, Michael M, 1989. "Price Discrimination by U.S. and German Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 198-210, March.
  10. Eduardo Morales & Gloria Sheu & Andrés Zahler, 2014. "Gravity and Extended Gravity: Using Moment Inequalities to Estimate a Model of Export Entry," NBER Working Papers 19916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2007. "Pricing-to-market, trade costs, and international relative prices," Working Paper Series 2007-26, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lukasz A. Drozd & Jaromir B. Nosal, 2012. "Understanding International Prices: Customers as Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 364-95, February.
  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. Samuel S. Kortum & Jonathan Eaton & Costas Arkolakis, 2011. "Staggered Adjustment and Trade Dynamics," 2011 Meeting Papers 1322, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Lukasz A. Drozd & Jaromir B. Nosal, 2008. "Understanding international prices: customers as capital," Staff Report 411, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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