Ezequiel Garcia-Lembergman

PhD Candidate, University of California at Berkeley

About Me
Photo by Hagit Caspi

About Me

I’m a PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of California - Berkeley.

Fields

International Trade, Urban Economics, Development Economics.

Research

Working papers

This paper studies the responses of multi-destination exporters to import cost shocks in a context of variable markups. We develop a trade model with variable markups and we propose an empirical strategy that let us identify the within-firm, across-destinations elasticity of markup and the sensitivity of this elasticity to a firm's market power in the destination. On the empirical side, the methodology requires analyzing changes on firms' export values across destinations in response to exogenous cost shocks. We use a comprehensive data of Argentinian firms and exploit variability in the timing of import barriers imposed to Argentinian products. Not surprisingly, we find that trade barriers reduce imports for those firms that are more exposed to the policy. This, in turn, yields to a considerably decline in their total exports. According to our estimates, the elasticity of total exports with respect to total imports is around 50%. We then use the cost shock to uncover the main fact of this paper: for a given firm, in a given year, the negative effect of rising imports costs on exports is more prominent in markets where the firm is smaller relative to other firms in the same sector. In the light of our model, this result implies that the elasticity of markup for a given firm in a given year, is increasing on its market power in the destination market. Intuitively, a multi-destination exporter decides to adjust relatively more its markups (and less their prices and export revenues) in those markets where it has higher market power.

Importing After Exporting, with Facundo Albornoz.

Using a comprehensive database of Argentine firms, we find that exporting to a new destination increases the probability of a firm beginning to import from that market within the lapse of one year. We develop a model of import and export decisions to study the effect of productivity and import costs on the intensive and extensive margins of importing. Comparing these predictions with the observed effect of reaching new export destinations, we argue that export entry in new markets reduces import costs. We show that importing after exporting is stronger in distant markets and in situations where importing involves non-homogeneous and rarely imported goods. Furthermore, the effect on the probability of importing remains, regardless on whether the firm survives in the export market. Taken together, our results suggest that firms gain knowledge on -or establish links with- potential suppliers after export entry, which reduces the costs associated with searching for import sources.

"Price controls, market power and inequality on consumption baskets: evidence from retail scanner data in Argentina", with Darío Tortarolo. (Draft coming soon)

Publications

The impact of export restrictions on production: A synthetic controls approach, with Martin Rossi & Rodolfo Stucchi. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association, 2018.

In spite of the generalized use of quantitative restrictions on exports, there is little empirical research on their effectiveness to achieve the intended effects of reducing exports, increasing production for domestic markets, and reducing domestic prices. This paper aims at filling this gap by estimating the impact of quantitative restrictions on cattle beef exports in Bolivia, applying a synthetic controls approach. Our main finding is that export restrictions have a negative impact not only on total production, but also on production for the domestic market. This fact, together with an increase in the domestic price, is consistent with a supply shift. The fact that export controls can shift supply and actually harm production for domestic markets bears important implications for the design of policies in the future.

Microeconomic dimensions of an export boom: Argentina, 2003-2011, with Facundo Albornoz and Leticia Juarez. The World Economy Journal, 2018.

This paper examines Argentine exports at the firm level between 2003 and 2011, a period of exceptional and sustained export growth. While at the product level, the pattern of specialization barely changed, exporters exhibit new dynamics in international markets: firms not only expanded sales abroad by increasing their exports in existing markets, but also by entering into new destinations and adding new products. That is, new export strategies allowed exporters achieve greater resistance to the variations in the macroeconomic environment. We find that the importance of the different export margins changes overtime: while the currency is depreciated, the intensive margin explains most of export growth, whereas the subextensive and extensive margins become the main source of export growth once the currency appreciates. We also uncover a strong complementarity between import and export growth.

Other Working papers

The impact of child marriage on women's education.

Teaching

Current

Economic Development. Professor: Benjamin Faber, Spring 2019.

Past

Game Theory for Social Science. Professor: Robert Powell, Fall 2018. Evaluations: 6.1/7.0.

Economic Development. Professor: Edward Miguel, Spring 2018. Evaluations: 5.9/7.0.

Game Theory for Social Science. Professor: Andrew Little, Fall 2017. Evaluations: 6.5/7.0.

Economic Development. Professor: Benjamin Faber, Spring 2017. Evaluations: 6.3/7.0.

Microeconomic Analysis. Professor: Calanit Kamala, Fall 2016. Evaluations: 6.2/7.0.

Awards

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award 2017-2018.