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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Chiara Tomasi

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Working Papers

December 2011Intermediaries in International Trade: Direct versus indirect modes of export
with Andrew B. Bernard, Marco Grazzi: w17711
This paper examines the factors that give rise to intermediaries in exporting and explores the implications for trade volumes. Export intermediaries such as wholesalers serve different markets and export different products than manufacturing exporters. In particular, high market-specific fixed costs of exporting, the (lack of) quality of the general contracting environment and product-specific factors play important roles in explaining the existence of export intermediaries. These underlying differences between direct and intermediary exporters have important consequences for trade flows. The ability of export intermediaries to overcome country and product fixed costs means that they can more easily respond along the extensive margin to external shocks. Intermediaries and direct exporter...

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