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WTO Accession and Performance of Chinese Manufacturing Firms

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  • Loren Brandt
  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck
  • Luhang Wang
  • Yifan Zhang

Abstract

We examine the effects of trade liberalization in China on the evolution of markups and productivity of manufacturing firms. Although these dimensions of performance cannot be separately identified when firm output is measured by revenue, detailed price deflators make it possible to estimate the average effect of tariff reductions on both. Several novel findings emerge. First, cuts in output tariffs reduce markups, but raise productivity. Second, pro-competitive effects are most important among incumbents, while efficiency gains dominate for new entrants. Third, cuts in input tariffs raise both markups and productivity. We highlight mechanisms that explain these findings in the Chinese context.

Suggested Citation

  • Loren Brandt & Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Luhang Wang & Yifan Zhang, 2017. "WTO Accession and Performance of Chinese Manufacturing Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2784-2820, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:9:p:2784-2820
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20121266
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • P31 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions
    • P33 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid

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