CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
Multinational Retailers and Home Country Exports

Angela Cheptea
Charlotte Emlinger
Karine Latouche

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 Abstract :
This paper questions whether the overseas expansion of a country’s retailers fosters overall bilateral exports towards these host markets. To address this question, we consider an empirical trade model, where the foreign sales of multinational retailers reduce the fixed and variable trade costs of their conational firms towards the same destination markets. We test our model with data on bilateral exports on a large panel of countries and the foreign sales of world’s largest one hundred retail companies over the 2001-2010 decade. We find a strong positive effect of the overseas presence of retailers of a given country on its exports to those markets. This outcome is far from being trivial, as most products sold in retailers foreign outlets are locally-produced. It testifies that the overseas presence of a country’s retail companies contributes to the reduction of trade costs towards these markets for other firms of the origin country. Our result is robust to different specifications, the use of different sets of instrumental variables and econometric approaches.

 Keywords : International Trade | Multinational Retailers

 JEL : F10, F12, F14, F23
CEPII Working Paper
N°2012-34, December 2012

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