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Business Groups and Trade in East Asia: Part 2, Product Variety

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  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • Maria Yang
  • Gary G. Hamilton

Abstract

We analyze the impact of market structure on the trade performance of South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Korea has many large, vertically-integrated business groups known as chaebol, whereas business groups in Taiwan are smaller and more specialized in the production of intermediate inputs. We test the hypothesis that the greater vertical integration in Korea results in less product variety than for Taiwan, by constructing indexes of product variety and `product mix' in their exports to the United States. It is found that Taiwan tends to export a greater variety of products to the U.S. than Korea, and this holds across all industries. In addition, Taiwan exports relatively more high-priced intermediate inputs, whereas Korea exports relatively more high-priced final goods. A comparison with Japan is also presented, and we find that Japan has greater product variety in its sales to the U.S. than either Taiwan or Korea.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5887.

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Date of creation: Jan 1997
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Publication status: Published as "Business Groups and Product Variety in Trade: Evidence from South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan", Journal of International Economics, Vol.47 ,no. 2 (April 1999).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5887

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  1. K.C. Fung, 1991. "Characteristics of Japanese Industrial Groups and Their Potential Impact on U. S . - Japanese Trade," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Studies of Commercial Policy, pages 137-168 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert Z. Lawrence, 1991. "Efficient or Exclusionist: The Import Behavior of Japanese Corporate Groups," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 311-341.
  3. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 1988. "Industrial Organization and Product Quality: Evidence From South Korean and Taiwanese Exports," NBER Working Papers 2722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
  6. Granovetter, Mark, 1995. "Coase Revisited: Business Groups in the Modern Economy," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 93-130.
  7. Hamilton, Gary G & Feenstra, Robert C, 1995. "Varieties of Hierarchies and Markets: An Introduction," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 51-91.
  8. Gary R. Saxonhouse, 1993. "What Does Japanese Trade Structure Tell Us about Japanese Trade Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 21-43, Summer.
  9. Davis, Donald R., 1995. "Intra-industry trade: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Ricardo approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 201-226, November.
  10. repec:fth:michin:337 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Sato, Kazuo, 1976. "The Ideal Log-Change Index Number," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(2), pages 223-28, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Tito Boeri & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 2002. "Varieties, Jobs and EU Enlargement," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 92(1), pages 139-178, January-F.
  2. Robert Feenstra & Madani & Dorsati & Yang & Tzu-Han, and Liang, Chi-Yuan, 2003. "Testing Endogenous Growth In South Korea And Taiwan," Working Papers 9716, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.

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