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CEP discussion paper

The Margins of US Trade

Recent research in international trade emphasizes the importance of firms’ extensive margins for understanding overall patterns of trade as well as how firms respond to specific events such as trade liberalization. In this paper, we use detailed U.S. trade statistics to provide a broad overview of how the margins of trade contribute to variation in U.S. imports and exports across trading partners, types of trade (i.e. arm’s-length versus related-party) and both short and long time horizons. Among other results, we highlight the differential behaviour of related-party and arm’s-length trade in response to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Andrew B. Bernard, J. Bradford Jensen, Stephen Redding and Peter K. Schott

January 2009     Paper Number CEPDP0906

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Trade programme.