NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods

Andrew B. Bernard, J. Bradford Jensen, Peter K. Schott

NBER Working Paper No. 11404
Issued in June 2005
NBER Program(s):   ITI

This paper provides an integrated view of globally engaged U.S. firms by exploring a newly developed dataset that links U.S. international trade transactions to longitudinal data on U.S. enterprises. These data permit examination of a number of new dimensions of firm activity, including how many products firms trade, how many countries firms trade with, the characteristics of those countries, the concentration of trade across firms, whether firms transact at arms length or with related parties, and whether firms import as well as export. Firms that trade goods play an important role in the U.S., employing more than a third of the U.S. workforce. We find that the most globally engaged U.S. firms, i.e. those that both export to and import from related parties, dominate U.S. trade flows and employment at trading firms. We also find that firms that begin trading between 1993 and 2000 experience especially rapid employment growth and are a major force in overall job creation.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11404

Published: Importers, Exporters and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods, Andrew B. Bernard, J. Bradford Jensen, Peter K. Schott. in Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, Dunne, Jensen, and Roberts. 2009

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