Firms and the global crisis : French exports in the turmoil
Title: Firms and the global crisis : French exports in the turmoil
Author: BRICONGNE, Jean Charles; FONTAGNÉ, Lionel; GAULIER, Guillaume; TAGLIONI, Daria; VICARD, Vincent
Citation: Journal of international economics, 2012, Vol. 87, No. 1, pp. 134-146
Global trade contracted quickly and severely during the global crisis. This paper uses a unique dataset of French firms to match export data to firm-level credit constraints and shows that most of the 2008–2009 trade collapse was due to the unprecedented demand shock and to product characteristics. While all firms have been affected by the crisis, the effect on large firms has been mainly at the intensive margin and has resulted in a smaller portfolio of products being offered to export destinations. The effect on smaller exporters has been to reduce the range of destinations served or to stop exporting altogether. Credit constraints have been an added aggravation for firms active in high financial dependence sectors. However, the share of credit constrained firms is small and their number has not increased hugely during the crisis, with the result that the overall impact of credit constraints on trade has been limited.
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