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Domestic and export performances of French firms

José Bardaji, Jean-Charles Bricongne (), Benoît Campagne () and Guillaume Gaulier ()

The World Economy, 2019, vol. 42, issue 3, 785-817

Abstract: The French trade balance deteriorated almost continuously from the late 1990s to the early 2010s. At the macroeconomic level, French export market share deteriorated while domestic sales kept pace with domestic demand. Does this assessment apply to individual firms? Using microlevel data for French industrial firms over the period 2002–12, we explore the link between domestic and export sales. We show that export and domestic sales have a tendency, albeit slight, to move in opposite directions. This may be due to factors such as deliberate strategies to target a specific market or the presence of production constraints. Addressing the resulting endogeneity issue, our analysis shows that a positive demand shock in the domestic market also leads to an increase in exports. In particular, a 10% increase in domestic demand leads to a 4% increase in exports. This complementarity between markets seems to be driven by small firms and could reflect the existence of liquidity constraints. Increased sales in one market could lessen these constraints by facilitating funding for company development in the export market.

Date: 2019
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