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Trade and Migration: Firm-Level Evidence

Andreas Hatzigeorgiou and Magnus Lodefalk
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Andreas Hatzigeorgiou: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

No 2011:39, Working Papers from Lund University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Migration has been associated with higher levels of trade. Previous studies interpret this as evidence of migrants’ ability to lower trade costs. Nevertheless, no study has investigated the impact of migrants on firms’ foreign trade. Thus, they fail to both provide evidence on the role that migrants may play in lowering firms’ trade costs, and exactly through which mechanisms the impact is derived. This study, being the first to study in depth the impact of immigration on trade at the firm level, bridges this gap in research. It utilizes new and unique employer-employee data for 12,000 Swedish firms, for the period 1998-2007, in a firm-level gravity framework. It provides novel firm-level evidence, demonstrating a significant, positive, and robust impact of immigrants in raising firms’ foreign trade. Migrants are found to increase trade both on the extensive and intensive product margin. Further, the study is able to conclude that the sustained effect mainly derives from lower information frictions through superior knowledge of foreign-markets, although contacts are also important.

Keywords: trade costs; information; trust; migration; heterogeneous firms; gravity; firmlevel data; product margins (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 D83 F14 F22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int and nep-mig
Date: 2011-12-13
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http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/papers/WP11_39.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Trade and Migration: Firm-Level Evidence (LONG VERSION) (2011) Downloads
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