International trade patterns at the product level are surprisingly dynamic. The majority of
trade relationships exist for just a few, often only one to three, years. In this paper, I examine
empirically the duration in German import trade at the 8-digit product level from 1995 to
2005. I find that survival probabilities are affected by exporter characteristics, product type
and market structure. Specifically, I show that the duration of exporting a product to Germany
is longer for products obtained from countries that are economically large and geographically
close to Germany; for products with large trade value and a low elasticity of substitution; and
for trade pairs that command a large share of the German import market and are characterized
by two-way trade.
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