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The buyer margins of firms' exports

Carballo, Jerónimo, Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P. and Volpe Martincus, Christian (2013) The buyer margins of firms' exports. CEP Discussion Papers, CEPDP1234. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

We use highly disaggregated firm-level export data from Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Uruguay over the period 2005-2008 to provide a precise characterization of firms' export margins, across products, destination countries, and crucially customers. We show that a firm's number of buyers and the distribution of sales across them systematically vary with the characteristics of its destination markets. While most firms serve only very few buyers abroad, the number of buyers and the skewness of sales across them increases with the size and the accessibility of destinations. We develop a simple model of selection with heterogeneous buyers and sellers consistent with these findings in which tougher competition induces a better alignment between consumers' ideal variants and firms' core competencies. This generates an additional channel through which tougher competition leads to higher productivity and higher welfare and hints at an additional source of gains from trade as long as freer trade fosters competition.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?...
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F12 - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: CEPDP1234
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2013 13:25
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51578/

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