Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 849: Exploring the Duration of EU Imports

Wolfgang Hess () and Maria Persson ()
Additional contact information
Wolfgang Hess: Lund Unversity, Postal: P.O. Box 70 SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Maria Persson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: and Lund University, P.O. Box 70 SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The objective of this paper is twofold. First, against the background of an existing empirical literature on the duration of trade which has found that international trade is often of strikingly short duration, we aim to establish whether or not EU imports from the rest of the world also are short-lived. Second, since there is at this point no clear commonly accepted theoretical explanation for these short trade durations, we seek to provide a thorough empirical description and analysis of the phenomenon, with the intention of thereby facilitating theoretical developments on the subject. We employ a rich data set of detailed imports to the EU15 countries from 140 exporters, covering the time period 1962-2006. Using these data, we begin by conducting a thorough descriptive analysis of the duration of EU imports. Thereafter, we perform a regression analysis using discrete-time duration models with proper controls for unobserved heterogeneity. We draw the conclusion that EU imports are indeed very short-lived – in fact, possibly more so than, for example, US imports. The median duration of EU imports is for example merely one year, and almost 60 percent of all spells cease during the first year of service. Among our empirical findings are (i) that the duration of trade remains stable across the long time period that we study; (ii) that short trade durations are the result of at least two processes: countries shifting between different suppliers but continuing to import a given product, and countries ceasing to import the product altogether; and (iii) that countries with a diversified export structure also will tend to have more long-lived export flows. In our formal regression, we are also able to find a set of explanatory variables that have statistically significant effects on the probability that trade flows die.

Keywords: Duration of Trade; Survival; European Union; Discrete-Time Hazard Models

JEL-codes: C41; F10; F14

Language: English

29 pages, August 24, 2010

Full text files

wp849.pdf PDF-file 

Download statistics

Fortchoming as
Wolfgang Hess and Maria Persson, 'Exploring the Duration of EU Imports', Review of World Economics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Elisabeth Gustafsson ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2022-09-03 20:59:59.