Firm Strategies in Expanding and Diversifying Exports

27 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2019

See all articles by Martina Lawless

Martina Lawless

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland - Economic Analysis and Research Department

Iulia Siedschlag

Economic and Social Research Institute Dublin; Trinity College Dublin - Department of Economics

Zuzanna Studnicka

KU Leuven

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

This paper provides novel empirical evidence on the patterns and dynamics of exports by Irish firms over the past two decades from a highly detailed data set of export records at the firm‐product‐destination level. We identify patterns of export concentration and specialisation and how these evolved over time. Firms’ strategies for export growth along product and destination markets mixes are then examined and the contributions of intensive (average sales) and extensive (number of products or markets) margins to overall exports and to export growth are calculated. We find that most exporting firms are quite small, selling a few products to a small number of destinations while export values are dominated by a relatively small group of highly globalised large firms selling many products to many destinations. Continuing exporters frequently introduce new products, drop products and enter and exit markets. Export growth in the case of Irish‐owned exporters appears largely driven by the extensive margin of product and destination changes. However, the opposite pattern holds for foreign‐owned firms with growth mainly coming from the intensive margin.

Keywords: exporting, firm heterogeneity, multiproduct firms

Suggested Citation

Lawless, Martina and Siedschlag, Iulia and Studnicka, Zuzanna, Firm Strategies in Expanding and Diversifying Exports (February 2019). The World Economy, Vol. 42, Issue 2, pp. 349-375, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3332606 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/twec.12702

Martina Lawless (Contact Author)

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland - Economic Analysis and Research Department ( email )

Dame Street
P.O. Box 559
Dublin 2
Ireland

Iulia Siedschlag

Economic and Social Research Institute Dublin ( email )

Whitaker Square
Sir John's Rogerson Quay
Dublin
Ireland

Trinity College Dublin - Department of Economics ( email )

Dublin
Ireland

Zuzanna Studnicka

KU Leuven ( email )

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