From The World Bank:
A few large companies dominate export markets in developing and developed countries, with the top one percent often accounting for more than half – sometimes nearly 80 percent – of total exports, according to a new World Bank database with a wealth of details on exporting firms.
The new Exporter Dynamics Database offers the most comprehensive picture yet of exporter characteristics and dynamics – a firm’s entry, exit and survival in the export market – in 45 developed and developing countries. The database mainly covers 2003-2009, though data from the 1990s are also available for some countries.
A key finding is that the export market is difficult to tackle for newcomers, with 57 percent of companies on average – and two-thirds in Africa – quitting within a year of entering the export market.
The global database allows for cross-country comparisons of exporters based on factors such as size, survival, growth, and concentration. More countries will be added as the database expands. Until now, most databases focus not on exporting firms, but on the aggregate flow of goods across borders based on countries or products.
Based on data sets covering the universe of export transactions obtained directly from customs agencies, the data are comparable across countries. Measures cover the size distribution of exporting firms, their diversification in terms of products and markets, the dynamics of exporting firms’ entry, exit and survival, and the average unit prices of the goods traded.
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