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Factor Intensity, Product Switching, and Productivity: Evidence from Chinese Exporters

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Author Info

  • Yue Ma

    (Lingnan University and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Heiwai Tang

    (Tufts University and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Yifan Zhang

    (Lingnan University)

Abstract

Using Chinese manufacturing firm data over the period of 1998-2007, we find that firms become less capital-intensive after exporting, compared to similar non-exporting firms. To rationalize this finding that contrasts with existing evidence for most countries, we develop a variant of the multi-product model of Bernard, Redding, and Schott (2010) to consider products with varying capital intensity. In the model, firms in a labor-abundant country specialize in their core competency by allocating more resources to produce labor-intensive products after exporting. Consistent with the model predictions, we find evidence that the ex-ante more productive firms experience a smaller decline in capital intensity after exporting, but firms that experience a sharper decline in capital intensity after exporting have a larger increase in measured total factor productivity. Using transaction-level data, we confirm that Chinese exporters add new products that are less capital-intensive than their existing product portfolios and drop those that are more capital-intensive over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 252012.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:252012

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Keywords: Exporters; Productivity; Factor Intensity; Multi-product Firms;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wenya Cheng & John Morrow & Kitjawat Tacharoen, 2013. "Productivity as if Space Mattered: An Application to Factor Markets Across China," CESifo Working Paper Series 4494, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. ITO Banri & XU Zhaoyuan & YASHIRO Naomitsu, 2013. "Does Agglomeration Promote the Internationalization of Chinese Firms?," Discussion papers 13081, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  3. Ling Feng & Zhiyuan Li & Deborah L. Swenson, 2012. "The Connection between Imported Intermediate Inputs and Exports: Evidence from Chinese Firms," IAW Discussion Papers 86, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  4. Fabrice Defever & Alejandro Riaño, 2012. "China's Pure Exporter Subsidies," CESifo Working Paper Series 4054, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Vivian Yue & Jiandong Ju, 2013. "A Unified Model of Structural Adjustments and International Trade: Theory and Evidence from China," 2013 Meeting Papers 859, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. WAKASUGI Ryuhei & Hongyong ZHANG, 2012. "Effects of Ownership on Exports and FDI: Evidence from Chinese firms," Discussion papers 12058, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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