China's Exporters and Importers: Firms, Products, and Trade Partners

45 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2008 Last revised: 10 Aug 2009

See all articles by Kalina Manova

Kalina Manova

University College London - Department of Economics

Zhiwei Zhang

Nomura Holdings, Inc. (NHI) - Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.; International Monetary Fund (on leave)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 8, 2009

Abstract

This paper uses newly available data on Chinese trade flows to establish novel and confirm existing stylized facts about firm heterogeneity in trade. First, the bulk of exports and imports are captured by a few multi‐product firms that transact with a large number of countries. Second, the average importer imports more products than the average exporter exports, but exporters trade with more countries than importers do. Third, compared to private domestic firms, foreign affiliates and joint ventures trade more and import more products from more source countries, but export fewer products to fewer destinations. Fourth, the relationship between firms’ intensive and extensive margin of trade is non-monotonic, differs between exporters and importers, and depends on the ownership structure of the firm. Fifth, firms frequently exit and re-enter into trade and regularly change their product mix and trade partners, but foreign firms exhibit less churning. Finally, most of the growth in Chinese exports between 2003-2005 was driven by deepening and broadening of trade relationships by surviving firms, while reallocations across firms contributed only 30%. These stylized facts shed light on the cost structure of international trade and the importance of foreign ownership for firms’ export and import decisions.

Keywords: exporters, importers, multinational firms, margins of trade

JEL Classification: F10, F14, F23

Suggested Citation

Manova, Kalina B. and Zhang, Zhiwei, China's Exporters and Importers: Firms, Products, and Trade Partners (August 8, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1167289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1167289

Kalina B. Manova (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Drayton House, 30 Gordon Street
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

Zhiwei Zhang

Nomura Holdings, Inc. (NHI) - Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. ( email )

Hong Kong
Japan

International Monetary Fund (on leave) ( email )

700 19th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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