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CEP discussion paper

Intra-Firm Trade and Product Contractibility (Long Version)

This paper examines the determinants of intra-firm trade in U.S. imports using detailed countryproduct data. We create a new measure of product contractibility based on the degree of intermediation in international trade for the product. We find important roles for the interaction of country and product characteristics in determining intra-firm trade shares. Intra-firm trade is high for products with low levels of contractability sourced from countries with weak governance, for skillintensive products from skill-scarce countries, and for capital-intensive products from capitalabundant countries.

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

May 2010     Paper Number CEPDP0978

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