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Learning versus Stealing: How Important Are Market-Share Reallocations to India's Productivity Growth?

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  • Ann E. Harrison
  • Leslie A. Martin
  • Shanthi Nataraj

Abstract

Recent trade theory emphasizes the role of market-share reallocations across firms (“stealing”) in driving productivity growth, whereas previous literature focused on average productivity improvements (“learning”). We use comprehensive, firm-level data from India's organized manufacturing sector to show that market-share reallocations were briefly relevant to explain aggregate productivity gains following the beginning of India's trade reforms in 1991. However, aggregate productivity gains during the period from 1985 to 2004 were largely driven by improvements in average productivity. We show that India's trade, FDI, and licensing reforms are not associated with productivity gains stemming from market share reallocations. Instead, we find that most of the productivity improvements in Indian manufacturing occurred through “learning” and that this learning was linked to the reforms. In the Indian case, the evidence rejects the notion that market share reallocations are the mechanism through which trade reform increases aggregate productivity. Although a plausible response would be that India's labor laws do not easily permit market share reallocations, we show that restrictions on labor mobility cannot explain our results. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 202-228

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:27:y:2013:i:2:p:202-228

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References

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  1. Petia Topalova & Amit Khandelwal, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity: The Case of India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 995-1009, August.
  2. Nataraj, Shanthi, 2011. "The impact of trade liberalization on productivity: Evidence from India's formal and informal manufacturing sectors," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 292-301.
  3. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  4. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," NBER Working Papers 14610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fernandes, Ana M., 2007. "Trade policy, trade volumes and plant-level productivity in Colombian manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 52-71, March.
  6. Rana Hasan & Devashish Mitra & K.V. Ramaswamy, 2003. "Trade Reforms, Labor Regulations and Labor-Demand Elasticities: Empirical Evidence from India," Economics Study Area Working Papers 59, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  7. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
  8. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
  9. Naércio Aquino Menezes-Filho & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2011. "Labor Reallocation in Response to Trade Reform," NBER Working Papers 17372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Aw, Bee Yan & Chen, Xiaomin & Roberts, Mark J., 2001. "Firm-level evidence on productivity differentials and turnover in Taiwanese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 51-86, October.
  11. Antoine Berthou & Lionel Fontagné, 2013. "How do Multiproduct Exporters React to a Change in Trade Costs?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 326-353, 04.
  12. Sivadasan Jagadeesh, 2009. "Barriers to Competition and Productivity: Evidence from India," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-66, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pete Klenow & Gunjan Sharma & Albert Bollard, 2011. "India's Mysterious Manufacturing Miracle," 2011 Meeting Papers 1176, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Li, Yue & Smarzynska Javorcik, Beata, 2008. "Do the Biggest Aisles Serve a Brighter Future? Global Retail Chains and Their Implications for Romania," CEPR Discussion Papers 6906, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Mitsukuni Nishida & Amil Petrin & T. Kirk White, 2013. "Are We Undercounting Reallocation's Contribution to Growth?," Working Papers 13-55, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Arnold, Jens & Javorcik, Beata & Lipscomb, Molly & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2010. "Services Reform and Manufacturing Performance: Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 8011, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Albert Bollard & Peter Klenow & Gunjan Sharma, 2012. "Online Appendix to "India's Mysterious Manufacturing Miracle"," Technical Appendices 11-75, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  6. Maria Bas & Antoine Berthou, 2012. "The Unequal Effects of Financial Development on Firms' Growth in India," Working Papers 2012-22, CEPII research center.
  7. Paul S. Segerstrom & Yoichi Sugita, 2013. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Industrial Productivity," CESifo Working Paper Series 4365, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Sean Dougherty & Verónica Frisancho Robles & Kala Krishna, 2011. "Employment Protection Legislation and Plant-Level Productivity in India," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 917, OECD Publishing.
  9. Ghani, Ejaz & O'Connell, Stephen D. & Sharma, Gunjan, 2013. "Friend or foe or family ? a tale of formal and informal plants in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6588, The World Bank.

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