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CEP discussion paper
The Margins of US Trade
Andrew B. Bernard, J. Bradford Jensen, Stephen J. Redding and Peter K. Schott
January 2009
Paper No' CEPDP0906:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: F1

Tags: heterogeneous firms; product differentiation; product market entry and exit

Recent research in international trade emphasizes the importance of firms’ extensive margins for understanding overall patterns of trade as well as how firms respond to specific events such as trade liberalization. In this paper, we use detailed U.S. trade statistics to provide a broad overview of how the margins of trade contribute to variation in U.S. imports and exports across trading partners, types of trade (i.e. arm’s-length versus related-party) and both short and long time horizons. Among other results, we highlight the differential behaviour of related-party and arm’s-length trade in response to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.