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Article

Trade crisis? What trade crisis?

The Review of Economics and Statistics. 2013. Vol. 95. No. 2. P. 702-709.
Behrens K., Corcos G., Mion G.

We investigate the 2008–2009 trade collapse using microdata from a small open economy, Belgium. Belgian exports and imports mostly fell because of smaller quantities sold and unit prices charged rather than fewer firms, trading partners, and products being involved in trade. Our difference-in-difference results point to a fall in the demand for tradables as the main driver of the collapse. Finance and involvement in global value chains played a minor role. Firm-level exports-to-turnover and imports-to-intermediates ratios reveal a comparable collapse of domestic and cross-border operations. Overall, our results reject a crisis of cross-border trade per se.