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Imports and exports at the level of the firm: evidence from Belgium

Muuls, Mirabelle and Pisu, Mauro (2007) Imports and exports at the level of the firm: evidence from Belgium. CEPDP, 801. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 9780853281788

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Abstract

This paper explores a newly-available panel data set merging balance sheet and international trade transaction data for Belgium. Both imports and exports appear to be highly concentrated among few firms and seem to have become more so over time. Focusing on manufacturing, we find that facts previously reported in the literature for exports only actually apply to imports too. We note that the number of trading firms diminishes as the number of export destinations or import origins increases. The same is true if we consider the number of products traded. With regard to productivity differentials, firms that both import and export appear to be the most productive, followed, in descending order, by importers only, exporters only and non-traders. These results point to the presence of fixed costs; not only of exporting, but also of importing and to a process of self-selection in both export and import markets. Also, the productivity advantage of exporters reported in the literature may be overstated because imports were not considered.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2007 the authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F10 - General
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F16 - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Departments > Economics
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 801
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2008 09:48
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19711/

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