Review of World Economics

, Volume 154, Issue 2, pp 327–346 | Cite as

The variation of export prices across and within firms

  • Juan de Lucio
  • Raúl Mínguez
  • Asier MinondoEmail author
  • Francisco Requena
Original Paper


This paper uses transaction-level trade data to analyze the differences in export prices across and within Spanish firms exporting manufactures in the 2010–2014 period. The transactional nature of the database uncovers sizable differences in the price that an exporter charges for the same product and destination. These differences are related with the number of goods covered within each product category, the exported quantity per transaction and the number of transactions carried out by firms.


Export prices Firm-level transaction data Heterogeneous firms Quality Spain 

JEL Classification

F1 F10 F23 



We thank Francisco Olarte for preparing the SABI data used in the empirical analyses. We are grateful to Michele Bernini, participants at 19th Encuentro de Economía Aplicada and 20th Annual LACEA Conference for valuable comments and suggestion. We also thank the Department of Customs and Excise of the Spanish Tax Agency (AEAT) for providing the essential information for this paper. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO ECO2016-79650-P and ECO2015-68057-R, co-financed with FEDER), the Generalitat Valenciana (GVPROMETEO 2017/052) and the Basque Government Department of Education, Language policy and Culture (IT885-16).


  1. Anderson, J. E., & van Wincoop, E. (2003). Gravity with gravitas: A solution to the border puzzle. American Economic Review, 93(1), 170–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baldwin, R., & Harrigan, J. (2011). Zeros, quality, and space: Trade theory and trade evidence. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 3(2), 60–88.Google Scholar
  3. Bastos, P., & Silva, J. (2010). The quality of a firm’s exports: Where you export to matters. Journal of International Economics, 82(2), 99–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernard, A. B., Jensen, J. B., Redding, S. J., & Schott, P. K. (2007). Firms in international trade. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21(3), 195–130.Google Scholar
  5. Bernard, A. B., Jensen, J. B., Redding, S. J., & Schott, P. K. (2012). The empirics of firm heterogeneity and international trade. Annual Review of Economics, 4, 283–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bernard, A. B., Moxnes, A., & Ulltveit-Moe, K. H. (2018). Two-sided heterogeneity and trade. Review of Economic Studies (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  7. Bernard, A. B., Redding, S. J., & Schott, P. K. (2010). Multiple-product firms and product switching. American Economic Review, 100(1), 70–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carballo, J., Ottaviano, G. I., & Volpe, C. (2013). The buyer margins of firms exports (CEPR Discussion Paper 9584).Google Scholar
  9. Crozet, M., Head, K., & Mayer, T. (2012). Quality sorting and trade: Firm-level evidence for French wine. The Review of Economic Studies, 79(2), 609–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De Loecker, J. (2011). Product differentiation, multiproduct firms, and estimating the impact of trade liberalization on productivity. Econometrica, 79(5), 1407–1451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eckel, C., & Neary, J. P. (2010). Multi-product firms and flexible manufacturing in the global economy. The Review of Economic Studies, 77(1), 188–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fajgelbaum, P., Grossman, G. M., & Helpman, E. (2011). Income distribution, product quality, and international trade. Journal of Political Economy, 119(4), 721–765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gil-Pareja, S., Llorca-Vivero, R., Martínez-Serrano, J. A., & Requena-Silvente, F. (2015). Regional export promotion offices and trade margins. Review of World Economics, 151(1), 145–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Görg, H., Halpern, L., & Murakozy, B. (2017). Why do within-firm-product export prices differ across markets? Evidence from Hungary. The World Economy, 40(6), 1233–1246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hallak, J. C. (2006). Product quality and the direction of trade. Journal of International Economics, 68(1), 238–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harrigan, J., Ma, X., & Shlychkov, V. (2015). Export prices of US firms. Journal of International Economics, 97(1), 100–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hummels, D., & Klenow, P. J. (2005). The variety and quality of a nation’s exports. American Economic Review, 95(3), 704–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hummels, D., & Skiba, A. (2004). Shipping the good apples out? An empirical confirmation of the Alchian–Allen conjecture. Journal of Political Economy, 112(6), 1384–1402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, R. C. (2012). Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms. Journal of International Economics, 86(1), 43–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Khandelwal, A. (2010). The long and short (of) quality ladders. The Review of Economic Studies, 77(4), 1450–1476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kugler, M., & Verhoogen, E. (2012). Prices, plant size, and product quality. The Review of Economic Studies, 79(1), 307–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Levinsohn, J., & Petrin, A. (2003). Estimating production functions using inputs to control for unobservables. The Review of Economic Studies, 70(2), 317–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Manova, K., & Yu, Z. (2017). Multi-product firms and product quality. Journal of International Economics (in press).Google Scholar
  24. Manova, K., & Zhang, Z. (2012). Export prices across firms and destinations. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127(1), 379–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Martin, J. (2012). Markups, quality, and transport costs. European Economic Review, 56(4), 777–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Méjean, I., & Schwellnus, C. (2009). Price convergence in the European Union: Within firms or composition of firms? Journal of International Economics, 78(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Melitz, M. J. (2003). The impact of trade on intra-industry reallocations and aggregate industry productivity. Econometrica, 71(6), 1695–1725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Melitz, M. J., & Ottaviano, G. I. (2008). Market size, trade, and productivity. The Review of Economic Studies, 75(1), 295–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nocke, V., & Yeaple, S. (2014). Globalization and multiproduct firms. International Economic Review, 55(4), 993–1018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pierce, J., & Schott, P. (2009). Concording US harmonized system codes over time. Journal of Official Statistics, 21(1), 53–68.Google Scholar
  31. Rauch, J. E. (1999). Networks versus markets in international trade. Journal of international Economics, 48(1), 7–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schott, P. K. (2004). Across-product versus within-product specialization in international trade. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(2), 647–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Verhoogen, E. A. (2008). Trade, quality upgrading, and wage inequality in the Mexican manufacturing sector. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123(2), 489–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kiel Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad NebrijaMadridSpain
  2. 2.Deusto Business SchoolUniversity of DeustoDonostia - San SebastiánSpain
  3. 3.Research affiliate of Instituto Complutense de Estudios InternacionalesMadridSpain
  4. 4.Department of Economic StructureUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain

Personalised recommendations