La Banque nationale de Belgique a publié récemment ces 3 documents de travail (en anglais):
In this paper, we present for the first time a qualitative and quantitative comparison between trade in services and trade in goods at firm level for the same country. We focus first on static features of trade such as participation rates, firms’ characteristics, heterogeneity, concentration and trade variation. Secondly, we explore dynamic aspects focusing on entry, exit, firm survival and growth strategy. On the one hand, our results reveal qualitative similarities between services and goods trade at firm level, suggesting that heterogeneous models of trade can be a good starting point for the analysis of trade in services. On the other hand, we highlight dramatic differences in quantitative terms and in some key characteristics that pose new challenges to current trade models.
Large exporters are simultaneously large importers. In this paper, we show that this pattern is key to understanding low aggregate exchange rate pass-through as well as the variation in pass-through across exporters. First, we develop a theoretical framework that combines variable markups due to strategic complementarities and endogenous choice to import intermediate inputs. The model predicts that firms with high import shares and high market shares have low exchange rate passthrough. Second, we test and quantify the theoretical mechanisms using Belgian firm-product-level data with information on exports by destination and imports by source country. We confirm that import intensity and market share are the prime determinants of pass-through in the cross-section of firms. A small exporter with no imported inputs has a nearly complete pass-through of over 90 %, while a firm at the 95th percentile of both import intensity and market share distributions has a passthrough of 56 %, with the marginal cost and markup channels playing roughly equal roles. The largest exporters are simultaneously high-market-share and high-import-intensity firms, which helps explain the low aggregate pass-through and exchange rate disconnect observed in the data.
This paper provides concordance procedures for product-level trade and production data in the EU and examines the implications of changing product classifications on measured product adding and dropping at Belgian firms. Using the algorithms developed by Pierce and Schott (2012a, 2012b), the paper develops concordance procedures that allow researchers to trace changes in coding systems over time and to translate product-level production and trade data into a common classification that is consistent both within a single year and over time. Separate procedures are created for the eightdigit Combined Nomenclature system used to classify international trade activities at the product level within the European Union as well as for the eight-digit Prodcom categories used to classify products in European domestic production data. The paper further highlights important differences in coverage between the Prodcom and Combined Nomenclature classifications which need to be taken into account when generating combined domestic production and international trade data at the product level. The use of consistent product codes over time results in less product adding and dropping at continuing firms in the Belgian export and production data.