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Exports, Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: The Case of China


  • Xiaolan Fu
  • V. N. Balasubramanyam


This paper analyses the growth of production and employment in China during the period 1978 to the early 1990s. It argues that the Chinese experience with export-led growth provides an excellent case study of the phenomenon of a vent for surplus resources provided by exports, identified by Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations and elaborated by Hla Myint. The paper extends the Smith-Myint model of 'vent-for-surplus' productive capacity to 'vent-for-surplus' resources by allowing for foreign investment flows. The 'vent-for-surplus' effect of exports on employment and growth is examined in a dynamic labour demand framework for a panel of township and village enterprises (TVEs) in China. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaolan Fu & V. N. Balasubramanyam, 2005. "Exports, Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: The Case of China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 607-625, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:28:y:2005:i:4:p:607-625

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fortanier, Fabienne & van Wijk, Jeroen, 2010. "Sustainable tourism industry development in sub-Saharan Africa: Consequences of foreign hotels for local employment," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 191-205, April.
    2. Guillaumont Jeanneney, Sylviane & Hua, Ping, 2011. "How does real exchange rate influence labour productivity in China?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 628-645.
    3. Hoekman & Bernard & Winters, L. Alan, 2005. "Trade and employment : stylized facts and research findings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3676, The World Bank.
    4. Mollick, André Varella, 2009. "Employment Responses of Skilled and Unskilled Workers at Mexican Maquiladoras: The Effects of External Factors," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1285-1296, July.
    5. Li, Yuheng, 2012. "Rural Household Income in China: Spatial-Temporal Disparity and Its Interpretation," Working Paper Series 2012-21, Stockholm School of Economics, China Economic Research Center.
    6. Székely-Doby, András, 2014. "A kínai reformfolyamat politikai gazdaságtani logikája
      [The politico-economic logic of the Chinese reform process]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1397-1418.
    7. Faria, João Ricardo & Mollick, André Varella & Albuquerque, Pedro H. & León-Ledesma, Miguel A., 2009. "The effect of oil price on China's exports," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 793-805, December.
    8. James Laurenceson & Kam Ki Tang, "undated". "China�s Equilibrium Exchange Rate and Trade Balance: A Tale of Apples and Pirates," EAERG Discussion Paper Series 0805, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    9. Tran Nhuan KIEN & Yoon HEO, 2009. "Impacts Of Trade Liberalization On Employment In Vietnam: A System Generalized Method Of Moments Estimation," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(1), pages 81-103.
    10. Xiao Jiang, 2011. "Trade Expansion and Employment Generation: How Mercantilist Does China Have to Be?," Working Papers 1109, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.
    11. Joao Ricardo Faria & Andre Varella Mollick & Pedro H. Albuquerque & Miguel Leon-Ledesma, 2008. "China's Exports and the Oil Price," Studies in Economics 0812, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    12. Garcia-Jimenez, Carlos I. & Mishra, Ashok K., 2010. "The Effects of Public Debt on Labor Demand in the United States," 2010 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2010, Orlando, Florida 56361, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    13. Ping HUA, 2005. "Real exchange rate and employment in the manufacturing sector in China," Working Papers 200528, CERDI.
    14. Prodyumna Goutam & Italo A. Gutierrez & Krishna B. Kumar & Shanthi Nataraj, 2017. "Does Informal Employment Respond to Growth Opportunities? Trade-Based Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers WR-1198, RAND Corporation.
    15. José Manuel Rueda-Cantuche & Nuno Sousa & Valeria Andreoni & Iñaki Arto, 2013. "The Single Market as an Engine for Employment through External Trade," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(5), pages 931-947, September.
    16. Dosi, Giovanni & Yu, Xiaodan, 2018. "Technological catching-up, sales dynamics and employment growth: evidence from China’s manufacturing firms," GLO Discussion Paper Series 177, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    17. Sera Linardi & Nita Rudra, 2015. "Globalization and Redistribution Towards the Poor in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from India," Artefactual Field Experiments 00399, The Field Experiments Website.
    18. Prodyumna Goutam & Italo A. Gutierrez & Krishna B. Kumar & Shanthi Nataraj, 2017. "Does Informal Employment Respond to Growth Opportunities? Trade-Based Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers 1198, RAND Corporation.
    19. Njikam, Ousmanou, 2016. "Trade liberalization, labor market regulations and labor demand in Cameroon," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 525-541.
    20. Fabienne Fortanier & Selwyn Moons, 2011. "Foreign Investors in The Netherlands: Heterogeneous Employment and Productivity Effects," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(4), pages 511-531, December.
    21. Hua, Ping, 2007. "Real exchange rate and manufacturing employment in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 335-353.
    22. Fukase, Emiko, 2013. "Export Liberalization, Job Creation, and the Skill Premium: Evidence from the US–Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 317-337.
    23. Giovanni Dosi & Xiaodan Yu, 2017. "Technological catching-up, sales dynamics and employment growth: evidence from China's manufacturing firms," LEM Papers Series 2017/27, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    24. Adam Blake & Ziliang Deng & Rod Falvey, 2009. "How does the productivity of foreign direct investment spill over to local firms in Chinese manufacturing?," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 183-197.
    25. A. Oznur Umit & H. Isil Alkan, 2016. "The Effects of Foreign Direct Investments and Economic Growth on Employment and Female Employment: A Time Series Analysis With Structural Breaks For Turkey," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), Kavala, Greece, vol. 9(3), pages 43-49, December.

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