The Gravity of Experience
In this paper, we establish the importance of experience in international trade in reducing unmeasured trade costs and facilitating bilateral trade. We find a strong role for experience, measured in years of positive trade, for both aggregate and sectoral bilateral trade. In an augmented gravity framework, with a very comprehensive set of fixed-effects and trend variables, we find that a 1% increase in experience at the country-pair level increases bilateral exports by 0.417% and reduces trade costs by 0.105%. Non-parametric estimates imply that nine years of experience is equivalent to a ...
One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade
This paper estimates the effect of sovereign debt renegotiation on international trade. Sovereign default may be associated with a subsequent decline in international trade either because creditors want to deter default by debtors, or because trade finance dries up after default. To estimate the effect, I use an empirical gravity model of bilateral trade and a large panel data set covering fifty years and more than 200 trading partners. The model controls for a host of factors that influence bilateral trade flows, including the incidence of International Monetary Fund programs. Using the ...
Appendix for How Exporters Grow
Determinants of trade margins: insights using state export data
We adapt the heterogeneous firm trade models of Helpman, Melitz, and Rubinstein (2008) and Lawless (2010) to analyze extensive and intensive trade margins using state-level exports to foreign nations. Our theoretical analysis provides definitive predictions for the effects of changes in fixed costs, variable costs, and foreign income on the extensive margin, while for the intensive margin the predictions regarding changes in fixed costs are definitive, but the effects of changes in variable costs and foreign income are not. The number of exporting firms of a state is used to measure the ...
The Gravity of Experience
In this paper, we establish the importance of experience in international trade for reducing trade costs and facilitating bilateral trade. Within an augmented gravity framework, we find that an additional year of experience at the country-pair level reduces trade costs by 2.0% and increases bilateral exports by 8%. The effect of experience is stronger for country-pairs that are more distant, who do not share a common border, and who lack colonial and legal ties. Further, experience raises both the extensive and the intensive margins of trade. In a dynamic trade model with heterogeneous firms ...
Estimating Border Effects: The Impact of Spatial Aggregation
Trade data are typically reported at the level of regions or countries and are therefore aggregates across space. In this paper, we investigate the sensitivity of standard gravity estimation to spatial aggregation. We build a model in which symmetric micro regions are aggregated into macro regions. We then apply the model to the large literature on border effects in domestic and international trade. Our theory shows that aggregation leads to border effect heterogeneity. Larger regions or countries are systematically associated with smaller border effects. The reason is that due to spatial ...
Why Are Exchange Rates So Smooth? A Household Finance Explanation
Empirical moments of asset prices and exchange rates imply that pricing kernels are almost perfectly correlated across countries. Otherwise, observed real exchange rates would be too smooth for high Sharpe ratios. However, the cross country correlation among macro fundamentals is weak. We reconcile these facts in a two-country stochastic growth model with heterogeneous households and a home bias in consumption. In our model, only a small fraction of households trade domestic and foreign equities. We show that this mechanism can quantitatively account for the smoothness of exchange rates in ...
What Does Financial Crisis Tell Us About Exporter Behavior and Credit Reallocation?
Using Japanese firm data covering the Japanese financial crisis in the early 1990s, we find that exporters' domestic sales declined more significantly than their foreign sales, which in turn declined more significantly than non-exporters' sales. This stylized fact provides a new litmus test for different theories proposed in the literature to explain a trade collapse associated with a financial crisis. In this paper we embed the Melitz's (2003) model into a tractable DSGE framework with incomplete financial markets and endogenous credit allocation to explain both the Japanese firm-level data ...
The Impact of Regional and Sectoral Productivity Changes on the U.S. Economy
We study the impact of regional and sectoral productivity changes on the U.S. economy. To that end, we consider an environment that captures the effects of interregional and intersectoral trade in propagating disaggregated productivity changes at the level of a sector in a given U.S. state to the rest of the economy. The quantitative model we develop features pairwise interregional trade across all 50 U.S. states, 26 traded and non-traded industries, labor as a mobile factor, and structures and land as an immobile factor. We allow for sectoral linkages in the form of an intermediate input ...
The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters
The collapse of international trade surrounding the Great Recession has garnered significant attention. This paper studies firm entry and exit in foreign markets and their role in the post-recession recovery of U.S. exports using confidential microdata from the U.S. Census Bureau. We find that incumbent exporters account for the vast majority of the decline in export volumes during the crisis. The recession also induced a missing generation of exporters, with large increases in exits and a substantial decline in entries into foreign markets. New exporters during these years tended to have ...