Brown Bag Lunch
The unprecedented drop in international trade during the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 has mostly been analysed at the macroeconomic or sectoral level. However, heterogeneous exporters in terms of productivity, size or external finance dependence should be hit differently by the crisis. This issue is examined here using data on monthly exports at the product and destination level for some 100,000 individual French exporters, up to 2009M4. We show that the drop in French exports is mainly due to the intensive margin of large exporters. Small and large firms are evenly affected when sectoral and geographical specialisation are controlled for. Lastly, firms (small and large) in sectors more dependent on external finance are the most affected by the crisis. # This paper represents the views of the authors and should not be interpreted as reflecting those of Banque de France or the European Central Bank.