The Dynamics of International Trade: Sequencing, Experimenting and Quality

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Economics


Renewed calls for protectionism and recent dramatic falls in trade mean an understanding of the foundations of trade are increasingly important. 

This project addresses three distinct but related topics.

  1. What are the mechanisms by which firms break into foreign markets and what is the relationship between trade liberalisation and sequential exporting?

  2. Do exporting firms use testing grounds when targeting a new region?

  3. What role does quality play in export dynamics and what is the impact of changes in quality over time?

To answer these questions we will use the universe of all trade transactions collected by the Argentinean Customs Office between 2002 and 2009.  We will employ different linear and non linear econometric models using a variety of firm, destination and year fixed effects.  It is envisaged that our findings will result in a wide range of policy prescriptions. 

This project will shed light on the appropriateness and cost effectiveness of export promotion activities and will also hope to illuminate how governments can better allocate scarce resources.  By investigating the role of regional trade agreements in the export process we hope also to show that regional trade agreements maybe more successful than previously indicated.


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Albornoz F (2012) Sequential exporting in Journal of International Economics

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Elliott R (2016) Firm productivity and importing: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing firms in Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique