Essays on intermediation and trade.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis focuses on determinants of firms’ export performance. Chapter One introduces the literature on firm export behaviour. Chapter Two replicates the work of Ahn, Khandelwal, and Wei (2011). It examines the role of intermediaries in facilitating trade. Using Chinese data mostly sourced independently from the authors, I am able to reproduce the key evidence reported by AKW in favour of their intermediated trade model. However, when I extend their analysis to include additional data, I find that their results are not generally robust. My findings indicate that further research needs to be done to better understand the role of intermediaries in international trade markets.
Chapter Three uses meta-analysis to analyse the empirical literature on spillovers and exports. It collects 3,025 estimated spillover effects from 98 studies. The estimated spillover effects in the literature span a large number of types and measures of both exports and spillovers. As a result, I transform estimates to partial correlation coefficients (PCCs). I analyse these transformed effects using a variety of estimators. My analysis produces three main findings. First, while I estimate a mean overall effect of spillovers on exports that is statistically significant, the size of the effect is economically negligible. Second, I find evidence of positive publication bias. However, the size of the estimated publication bias is small, and disappears in some regressions when other explanatory variables are included in the analysis. Third, while some data, estimation and study characteristics are significantly related to estimated spillover effects, only a few are robust, and none are large in size. Chapter Four investigates spillover effects from other exporters on incumbent, exporting manufacturers. Specifically, I examine the following spillover effects on firm’s export performance: spillovers from geographic proximity to other exporters, national agglomeration of exporters exporting the same products, regional agglomeration of exporters exporting the same product, regional concentration of exporters with the same destination market, and regional concentration of exporters exporting the same product to the same destination market. I use export volume as an indicator of the intensive margin and compare spillovers specifically from both direct exporters and intermediary firms. I find that spillovers have a positive and statistically significant relationship with a firm’s intensive margin of export. My results indicate little difference between spillover effects from direct exporters and spillover effects from intermediary firms. I interpret my results to indicate that the primary transmission mechanism among incumbent exporting firms is information spillovers.
Chapter Five brings my thesis to a close. It provides an overall summary of the main findings of my research, along with a final set of conclusions.