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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
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    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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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X13001332
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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. Cuñat, Alejandro & Melitz, Marc J., 2012. "Volatility, Labor Market Flexibility, and the Pattern of Comparative Advantage," Scholarly Articles 10914283, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Panagariya, Arvind, 2008. "India: The Emerging Giant," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195315035.
    4. 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.
    5. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
    6. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600, 05.
    7. 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.
    8. Devashish Mitra & Beyza Ural, 2009. "Indian manufacturing: A slow sector in a rapidly growing economy," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 205-205.
    9. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 33, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    10. 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.
    11. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Juan Botero, 2003. "The Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 9756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Peter K. Schott, 2001. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," NBER Working Papers 8244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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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