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FDI Liberalization as a Source of Comparative Advantage in China

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  • Sebastian Claro

Abstract

Two features of China's trade patterns suggest that elements beyond factor abundance explain its export performance. The high penetration in world markets of labor-intensive products has been accompanied by: (i) a high share in exports of productivity-advanced foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) and (ii) a high penetration of FIEs in labor-intensive sectors. We show that FDI liberalization endogenously introduces Ricardian features to an otherwise standard endowment-based trade model, strengthening China's natural comparative advantage in labor-intensive products. We discuss how capital accumulation, productivity growth, rural-urban migration, incentives for foreign investment, and distortions in financial markets affect this bias. Copyright � 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 740-753

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Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:13:y:2009:i:4:p:740-753

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References

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  1. Robert E. Lipsey, 2002. "Home and Host Country Effects of FDI," NBER Working Papers 9293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Romalis, 2007. "Capital Taxes, Trade Costs, and the Irish Miracle," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 459-469, 04-05.
  3. WHALLEY, John & XIN, Xian, 2010. "China's FDI and non-FDI economies and the sustainability of future high Chinese growth," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 123-135, March.
  4. Findlay, Ronald, 1978. "Relative Backwardness, Direct Foreign Investment, and the Transfer of Technology: A Simple Dynamic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 1-16, February.
  5. Robert E. Lipsey & Irving B. Kravis & Romualdo A. Roldan, 1978. "Do Multinational Firms Adapt Factor Proportions To Relative Factor Prices?," NBER Working Papers 0293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Françoise Lemoine, 2000. "FDI and the Opening Up of China's Economy," Working Papers 2000-11, CEPII research center.
  7. Chen, Chung & Chang, Lawrence & Zhang, Yimin, 1995. "The role of foreign direct investment in China's post-1978 economic development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 691-703, April.
  8. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, December.
  9. Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2007. "Trade, Production, and Protection Database, 1976--2004," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 165-171.
  10. Liu, Xiaming & Wang, Chengang & Wei, Yingqi, 2001. "Causal links between foreign direct investment and trade in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 190-202.
  11. Sebastián Claro, 2006. "Why does China protect its labour-intensive industries more? -super-," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(2), pages 289-319, 04.
  12. Haishun Sun & Ashok Parikh, 2001. "Exports, Inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Regional Economic Growth in China," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 187-196.
  13. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1988. "The Effect of Multinational Firms' Operations on Their Domestic Employment," NBER Working Papers 2760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Mitchell H. Kellman & Yochanan Shachmurove, 2011. "Herfindahl-Hirschman Meets International Trade and Development Theories," Working Papers 50, Department of Applied Econometrics, Warsaw School of Economics.
  2. Roberto Álvarez & Sebastián Claro, 2007. "On the Sources of China’s Export Growth," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 426, Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Mitchell H. Kellman & Yochanan Shachmurove, 2010. "Adam Smith Meets an Index of Specialization in International Trade," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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