Essays in International Economics

Benguria Depassier, Felipe, Economics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Harrigan, James, Department of Economics, University of Virginia
McLaren, John, Department of Economics, University of Virginia
Reshef, Ariell, Department of Economics, University of Virginia

The first chapter of this dissertation develops a general equilibrium model of international trade with heterogeneous exporters and heterogeneous importers. This theory is guided by new findings drawn from a matched exporter-importer dataset that characterizes the relationships between exporting and importing firms. I find that most exporters have a single importing partner, that highly productive exporters tend to trade with highly productive importers, and that the value traded is positively correlated with both exporter and importer productivities. The model analyzes the selection of exporters and importers into trading pairs and features simultaneous free entry into exporting and into importing. This theory provides a rationale for the fixed costs of entering export markets, associating them with the costs of searching for importing firms that distribute a product to final consumers abroad. The model is consistent with the response of exporting and importing firms to the recent Colombia-U.S. free trade agreement.

The second chapter studies quantitatively the consequences of the matching and sorting of exporters and importers for global trade flows across sectors and destinations. For this purpose I estimate the parameters of the model, including the search costs that govern the sorting of exporters and importers.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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