Erbahar, A. and Rebeyrol, V. (2023). Trade Intermediation by Producers Journal of International Economics, 140:.
JournalJournal of International Economics
This paper shows that manufacturing exporters export goods that they have not produced and thus also act as trade intermediaries. The geographical dimension of the data reveals that almost half of these exports of “sourced” products are purely intermediated: to many destinations, firms export sourced products only. We find that this type of intermediation is ubiquitous across firms, products, and destinations, and is robust to a battery of alternative definitions. These findings show that trade intermediation by producers (TIP) is not solely driven by carry-along trade, where produced and sourced products are bundled when exported. Our decomposition of TIP highlights that trade intermediation should be identified at the firm-product-destination level. The prevalence of pure intermediation for all manufacturing exporters, including the largest ones, suggests that intermediation plays an important role in firms' participation and success in international markets.