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The NAFTA Tide: Lifting the Larger and Better Boats

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  • Calderón-Madrid, Angel

    ()
    (El Colegio de México)

  • Voicu, Alexandru

    ()
    (CUNY - College of Staten Island)

Abstract

We use panel data on Mexican manufacturing plants to study the connection between plants’ responses to changes in the economic environment and their contributions to aggregate productivity growth in the period following the implementation of the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In all industries, an overwhelming share of aggregate productivity growth is accounted for by a small number of plants which were larger and more productive before the implementation of NAFTA and expanded and became more productive following the implementation of NAFTA. Plants that exported before NAFTA and export continuously through 2000 and some of the new exporters are more likely to be among the top-performing plants. Exporting activity and performance of plants with similar exporting experience, however, display remarkable heterogeneity. This heterogeneity implies that trade liberalization provided growth opportunity to larger and more productive plants irrespective of their export status and provides an explanation for the lackluster average productivity performance of exporting plants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3207.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3207

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Keywords: heterogeneity of plant-level performance; trade liberalization; NAFTA; productivity;

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  1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Trade costs, firms and productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 917-937, July.
  2. 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.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc J & Yeaple, Stephen R, 2003. "Export versus FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers 3741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1995. "Trade liberalization and the dimensions of efficiency change in Mexican manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 53-78, August.
  9. Schiff, Maurice & Wang, Yanling, 2003. "Regional integration and technology diffusion : the case of the North America free trade agreement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3132, The World Bank.
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  11. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Pavcnik, Nina, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvement: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 245-76, January.
  13. J. Ramsay, 1982. "When the data are functions," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 379-396, December.
  14. repec:rus:hseeco:123684 is not listed on IDEAS
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