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Lexicographic biases in international trade

Hua Cheng, Cui Hu and Ben Li ()

Journal of International Economics, 2020, vol. 126, issue C

Abstract: The names of traders should not matter if information is symmetric across traders. By examining export data from Chinese customs, we find persistent lexicographic biases in firm-level export records. Firms whose names are lexicographically earlier in the Chinese-character rank export more to countries that have greater language proximities to Chinese, while firms whose names are lexicographically earlier in the English-romanization rank export more to countries that have greater language proximities to English. The lexicographic biases signify linguistic visibility as a source of comparative advantage in international trade.

Keywords: Alphabetic bias; Language; Gravity models; Behavioral economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:inecon:v:126:y:2020:i:c:s0022199620300623

DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2020.103346

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