American Economic Review
International trade models typically assume that producers in one country trade directly with final consumers in another. In the real world, of course, trade can involve long chains of potentially independent actors who move goods through wholesale and retail distribution networks. These networks likely affect the mag-nitude and nature of trade frictions and hence both the pattern of trade and its welfare gains. To promote further understanding of how goods move across borders, this paper examines the extent to which US exports and imports flow through wholesalers and retailers versus “pro-ducing and consuming” firms. We highlight a number of stylized facts about these intermedi-aries and show that their attributes can deviate substantially from the portrait of trading firms
Bernard, Andrew B.; Jensen, J. Bradford; Redding, Stephen J.; and Schott, Peter K., "Wholesalers and Retailers in US Trade" (2010). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 3545.