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Export entrepreneurship and trade structure in Latin America during good and bad times

  • Fernandes, Ana M.
  • Lederman, Daniel
  • Gutierrez-Rocha, Mario

The authors use a new dataset on export transactions for a large set of Latin American and Caribbean and comparator countries to assess the extent of"export entrepreneurship"during periods of fast export growth (2005-2007) and depressed external demand (2008-2009). Export entrepreneurship is equated with the extensive margin of exports, namely the advent of new exporting firms, new export products, and new export market destinations. The main findings are: (1) annual exporter entry, exit, and survival rates in Latin America and the Caribbean are quite similar to what is observed in other countries, and entry rates across sectors are quite similar but survival rates appear to be highest in agriculture; (2) the relative size of entrants into export markets (relative to incumbents) tended to be lower for natural resource-abundant countries during 2005-2007, but less so during the crisis years of 2008-2009; (3) entry rates tend to be lower in sectors in which a country has revealed comparative advantage, however, exit rates and survival rates of new exporters are higher in those sectors; and (4) the low growth of exports during the global recession of 2008-2009 in Latin America and the Caribbean was due to lower growth in exports of incumbent firms'pre-existing products and destinations, while new products and destinations tended to attenuate the recession's effects. Overall, the data suggest that the Latin American and Caribbean region appears to be no less entrepreneurial in terms of the extensive margins of exports than comparator countries.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6413.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6413
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  1. Thomas Vollrath, 1991. "A theoretical evaluation of alternative trade intensity measures of revealed comparative advantage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 265-280, June.
  2. Cebeci, Tolga & Fernandes, Ana M. & Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Martha Denisse, 2012. "Exporter dynamics database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6229, The World Bank.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Marcela Eslava & Maurice Kugler & James Tybout, . "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Transactions Level Evidence," Borradores de Economia 522, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Kohler, Wilhelm K., 2006. "Exploring the intensive and extensive margins of world trade," Munich Reprints in Economics 20610, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Tibor Besedes & Thomas J. Prusa, 2007. "The Role of Extensive and Intensive Margins and Export Growth," NBER Working Papers 13628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
  8. 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, December.
  9. repec:oup:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:2:p:441-487 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Introduction to "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data"," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard E. Caves, 1998. "Industrial Organization and New Findings on the Turnover and Mobility of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1947-1982, December.
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