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The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification

In: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data

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  • John Baldwin
  • Wulong Gu

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of trade liberalization on plant scale, production-run length and product diversification. We first develop a model of trade in differentiated products with multi-product plants. We then present empirical evidence using a large panel of Canadian manufacturing plants and their experience with the 1989 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The model predicts that the bilateral tariff reduction reduces the product diversification of exporting plants, increases the production-run length and has an ambiguous effect on the size of those plants. It also reduces the product diversification and size of non-exporting plants, and has no effect on the production-run length of those plants. The empirical evidence on non-exporting plants provides broad support for the model. The evidence on exporting plants shows that exporters reduce product diversification, and increase production-run length and plant size, but those changes do not appear to be related to tariff cuts. Once in the export markets, plants respond to forces other than tariff cuts. Further tariff cuts have less effect on those plants.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0502.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0502

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Daniel Trefler, 2001. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 8293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm357, Yale School of Management.
    4. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
    5. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    6. Harris, Richard, 1984. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-32, December.
    7. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2002. "Market Size Matters," NBER Working Papers 9113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Baldwin,John R. & Gorecki,Paul With contributions by-Name:Caves,Richard E. With contributions by-Name:Dunne,Tim With contributions by-Name:Haltiwanger,John, 1998. "The Dynamics of Industrial Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521633574, October.
      • Baldwin,John R. & Gorecki,Paul With contributions by-Name:Caves,Richard E. With contributions by-Name:Dunne,Tim With contributions by-Name:Haltiwanger,John, 1995. "The Dynamics of Industrial Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521465618, October.
    9. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
    10. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2003. "Participation in Export Markets and Productivity Performance in Canadian Manufacturing," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2003011e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    11. Rama, Ed & Sabourin, David & Baldwin, John R., 1999. "Growth of Advanced Technology Use in Canadian Manufacturing During the 1990's," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1999105e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    12. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    13. Chad Syverson, 2003. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 10049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    15. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Beckstead, Desmond & Baldwin, John R. & Caves, Richard, 2002. "Changes in the Diversification of Canadian Manufacturing Firms and Plants (1973-1997): A Move to Specialization," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002179e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    17. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2004. "Trade Liberalization: Export-market Participation, Productivity Growth, and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 372-392, Autumn.
    18. John R. Baldwin & Ron S. Jarmin & Jianmin Tang, 2004. "Small North American Producers Give Ground in the 1990s," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 349-361, November.
    19. Gu, Wulong & Caves, Richard & Baldwin, John R., 2005. "Responses to Trade Liberalization: Changes in Product Diversification in Foreign- and Domestic-controlled Plants," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2005031e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    20. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2003. "Export-market participation and productivity performance in Canadian manufacturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 634-657, August.
    21. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
    22. Baldwin, John R. & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2002. "Productivity Growth in Canada," Productivity Growth in Canada, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis, number stcb6e, December.
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