Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence

48 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2007 Last revised: 13 Dec 2007

See all articles by Jonathan Eaton

Jonathan Eaton

Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Marcela Eslava

University of the Andes (CEDE)

Maurice Kugler

United Nations Development Programme

James Tybout

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Abstract

Using transactions-level customs data from Colombia, we study firm-specific export patterns over the period 1996-2005. Our data allow us to track firms' entry and exit into and out of individual destination markets, as well as their revenues from selling there. We find that, in a typical year, nearly half of all Colombian exporters were not exporters in the previous year. These new exporters tend to be extremely small in terms of their overall contribution to export revenues, and most do not continue exporting in the following year. Hence export sales are dominated by a small number of very large and stable exporters. Nonetheless, out of each cohort of new exporters, a fraction of firms go on to expand their foreign sales very rapidly, and over the period of less than a decade, these successful new exporters account for almost half of total export expansion. Finally, we find that new exporters begin in a single foreign market and, if they survive, gradually expand into additional destinations. The geographic expansion paths they follow, and their likelihood of survival as exporters, depend on their initial destination market.

Keywords: Economics, International Economics

JEL Classification: F10

Suggested Citation

Eaton, Jonathan and Eslava, Marcela and Kugler, Maurice and Tybout, James R., Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence. KSG Working Paper No. RWP07-050. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=976555 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.976555

Jonathan Eaton

Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-8951 (Phone)
212-995-3932 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.nyu.edu/user/eatonj/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Marcela Eslava

University of the Andes (CEDE) ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Maurice Kugler (Contact Author)

United Nations Development Programme ( email )

One United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
United States

HOME PAGE: http://hdr.undp.org

James R. Tybout

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Economics ( email )

517 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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