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Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Input Linkages: Theory and Evidence from Colombia

Author

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  • Ana Cecília Fieler
  • Marcela Eslava
  • Daniel Yi Xu

Abstract

A quantitative model brings together theories linking international trade to quality, technology, and demand for skills. Standard effects of trade on importers and exporters are magnified through domestic input linkages. We estimate the model with data from Colombian manufacturing firms before the 1991 trade liberalization. A counterfactual trade liberalization is broadly consistent with post-liberalization data. It increases skill intensity from 12 to 16 percent, while decreasing sales. Imported inputs, estimated to be of higher quality, and domestic input linkages are quantitatively important. Economies of scale, export expansion, and reallocation of production are small and cannot explain post-liberalization data.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Cecília Fieler & Marcela Eslava & Daniel Yi Xu, 2018. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Input Linkages: Theory and Evidence from Colombia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(1), pages 109-146, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:1:p:109-46
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20150796
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:nbr:nberch:14095 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pian Shu & Claudia Steinwender, 2019. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Firm Productivity and Innovation," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 39-68.
    3. Muscillo, Alessio & Pin, Paolo & Razzolini, Tiziano & Serti, Francesco, 2018. "Does "Network Closure" Beef up Import Premium?," IZA Discussion Papers 12036, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Nicholas Bloom & Kalina Manova & John Van Reenen & Stephen Teng Sun & Zhihong Yu, 2018. "Managing Trade: Evidence from China and the US," NBER Working Papers 24718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Santacreu, Ana Maria & Varela, Liliana, 2019. "Innovation and the Patterns of Trade: A Firm-Level Analysis," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 404, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    6. Rachid Laajaj & Marcela Eslava & Tidiane Kinda, 2019. "The Costs of Bureaucracy and Corruption at Customs: Evidence from the Computerization of Imports in Colombia," Documentos CEDE 017173, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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