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The Determinants of Capital Intensity in Manufacturing: The Role of Factor Market Imperfections

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  • Hasan, Rana
  • Mitra, Devashish
  • Sundaram, Asha

Abstract

We study the role of factor market imperfections in determining industry-level capital intensities. Using cross-country panel data on manufacturing industries, we find that labor market imperfections arising from labor regulation have a greater influence on capital intensity than do credit market imperfections. Less restrictive labor regulations are associated with lower capital intensity in manufacturing, especially in middle-income and developing economies and in sectors that either require more frequent labor adjustment or are more unskilled labor intensive. This suggests that stringent labor regulations can impose costs on labor use, thereby curtailing gains from trade based on factor-abundance driven comparative advantage.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 91-103

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:51:y:2013:i:c:p:91-103

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

Related research

Keywords: capital intensity; factor-market imperfections; Heckscher–Ohlin model; factor abundance;

References

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  1. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
  2. Peter K. Schott, 2001. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," NBER Working Papers 8244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Devashish Mitra & Beyza Ural, 2008. "Indian manufacturing: A slow sector in a rapidly growing economy," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 525-559.
  4. Rana Hasan & Devashish Mitra & K.V. Ramaswamy, 2003. "Trade Reforms, Labor Regulations and Labor-Demand Elasticities: Empirical Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 9879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Aditya Bhattacharjea, 2006. "Labour Market Regulation and Industrial Performance in India--A Critical Review of the Empirical Evidence," Working papers 141, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  6. Cuñat, Alejandro & Melitz, Marc J, 2007. "Volatility, Labour Market Flexibility, and the Pattern of Comparative Advantage," CEPR Discussion Papers 6297, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 3260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  10. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
  11. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "The Response of the Informal Sector to Trade Liberalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3874, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Panagariya, Arvind, 2008. "India: The Emerging Giant," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195315035, September.
  13. Gupta, Poonam & Hasan, Rana & Kumar, Utsav, 2009. "Big Reforms but Small Payoffs: Explaining the Weak Record of Growth and Employment in Indian Manufacturing," MPRA Paper 13496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
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