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Domestic Value Added in Exports: Theory and Firm Evidence from China

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  • Hiau Looi Kee
  • Heiwai Tang

Abstract

China has defied the declining trend in domestic content in exports in many countries. This paper studies China's rising domestic content in exports using firm- and customs transaction-level data. The approach embraces firm heterogeneity and hence reduces aggregation bias. The study finds that the substitution of domestic for imported materials by individual processing exporters caused China's domestic content in exports to increase from 65 to 70 percent in the period 2000-2007. Such substitution was induced by the country's trade and investment liberalization, which deepened its engagement in global value chains and led to a greater variety of domestic materials becoming available at lower prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiau Looi Kee & Heiwai Tang, 2016. "Domestic Value Added in Exports: Theory and Firm Evidence from China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1402-1436, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:6:p:1402-36
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20131687
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Koopman, Robert & Wang, Zhi & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2012. "Estimating domestic content in exports when processing trade is pervasive," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 178-189.
    2. Ahn, JaeBin & Khandelwal, Amit K. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "The role of intermediaries in facilitating trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-85, May.
    3. Cebeci, Tolga & Fernandes, Ana M. & Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Martha Denisse, 2012. "Exporter dynamics database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6229, The World Bank.
    4. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Yifan, 2012. "Creative accounting or creative destruction? Firm-level productivity growth in Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 339-351.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions
    • P33 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid

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