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Three essays on international trade


This dissertation is composed by three chapters. In Chapter 1 I use detailed information on labor composition of Brazilian firms to show that even though exporting firms are similar in the workforce composition, it is non- observable worker characteristics that matter the most to determine whether an exporting firm will become a future successful exporter. I find that the prior working experience of workers is a key component in determining a firm's future export success. Results show that hiring away workers with previous experience in other exporting companies has a significant effect on a firm's future probability of becoming a successful exporter. Furthermore, hiring these key workers increases a firm's market penetration and a firm's number of exporting destinations. In Chapter 2 I use detailed firm level data on a firm's external sources of financing and I show that firms with higher debt balances export less and grow at lower rates, especially during periods of economic distress. I use this data to provide evidence that financing constraints affect firms' extensive and intensive margins of exports. However, only a subset of financing constraints are related to exports. I show that short-term debt with domestic banking institutions is negatively related to a firm's extensive and intensive margins of trade, while supplier trade debt has a positive effect on a firm's intensive margin of exports. I show that firms located in sectors with higher dependence on external financing exhibit higher growth in their intensive margins of exports. In Chapter 3 I focus my attention a transport costs. In this chapter, I focus my attention on air cargo shipping and I extend the Melitz (2003) firm heterogenous model of trade by including a cargo shipping sector characterized by a oligopolistic competition structure with fixed entry costs. The market competition in air cargo shipping enables me to derive endogenous pricing rules that vary with the number of cargo carriers per route. Empirical results with US cargo data confirm the importance of competition in air cargo shipping prices

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