Title: The extensive margin of intrafirm trade

Authors: Xiang Gao

Addresses: School of International Business Administration, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, 777 Guoding Road, Shanghai 200433, China

Abstract: The firm-level approach to intra-industry trade reveals that the variation in the number of exporters or exported varieties (extensive margin) accounts for a greater share of the changes in aggregate trade than the variation in the average exports per firm variety (intensive margin). This paper shows vertical intra-firm trade follows a similar pattern. The share of intra-firm imports in total US imports is found to be higher, the higher the headquarters service intensity by industry of foreign affiliate. This increase materialises mostly in terms of new affiliates than in terms of more sales per existing affiliate. The endogenous choice of optimal number of affiliates can be rationalised in a theoretical framework that combines three ingredients – a multiproduct setup, Antràs’ property-rights model and Melitz’s heterogeneity view on productivity applied to affiliates.

Keywords: extensive margins; intra-firm trade; FDI; foreign direct investment; multiproduct firms; foreign affiliates; productivity heterogeneity; vertical integration; outsourcing; incomplete contracts; exporters; exported varieties; exports; aggregate trade; vertical trade; USA; United States; imports; company headquarters; service intensity; sales; endogenous choices; Pol Antràs; property rights; Marc Melitz; economics; business research; intra-industry trade.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEBR.2012.044254

International Journal of Economics and Business Research, 2012 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.213 - 232

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 14 Dec 2011 *

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