Firms' export decisions - fixed trade costs and the size of the export market

Working Paper, NUPI

This article presents two models of international trade under monopolistic competition. In increasing returns sectors firms face fixed, in addition to variable, trade costs, therefore both exporters and non-exporters may coexist. While nonexporters benefit from access to large domestic markets, exporters benefit from access to large foreign markets. Consequently, a small country has a higher share of exporting firms than a large one. In contrast to standard models, increasing returns sectors turn out more open in small countries than in large ones, and small countries may be net exporters of such commodities, despite the disadvantage of a smaller home market.