The Life-Cycle Dynamics of Exporters and Multinational Firms
60 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017 Last revised: 13 Aug 2022
Date Written: November 2017
This paper studies the life-cycle dynamics of exporters and multinational enterprises (MNEs). Using rich firm-level data, we document a comprehensive set of facts on entry, exit, and growth of new exporters and new MNEs. Guided by these facts, we build a model based on the standard proximity-concentration trade-off extended to incorporate time-varying firm productivity and sunk costs of MNE entry. The calibrated version of the model goes far in matching cross-sectional and dynamic moments of the data on exporters and MNEs. We show that including the choice to become an MNE affects the predicted export dynamics after trade liberalization. The different dynamics in a model with and without MNEs hinge on the right truncation of fast-growing exporters induced by the inclusion of the MNE choice.
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