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Productivity, output, and failure: a comparison of taiwanese and korean manufacturers

  • Bee Yan Aw
  • Sukkyun Chung
  • Mark J. Roberts

We use micro panel data for producers in seven two-digit manufacturing industries in South Korea and Taiwan and identify a number of systematic differences in industry structure between the countries. Our empirical findings indicate Taiwanese industries are characterised by less concentrated market structure, more producer turnover, smaller within-industry productivity dispersion across producers, a smaller percentage of plants operating at low productivity levels, and smaller productivity differentials between surviving and failing producers. These patterns are consistent with strong competitive pressures in Taiwan that lead to market selection based on productivity differences. The patterns in Korea are consistent with the presence of some impediments to exit or entry that insulate inefficient producers from market pressures. Copyright 2003 Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 113 (2003)
Issue (Month): 491 (November)
Pages: F485-F510

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:113:y:2003:i:491:p:f485-f510
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  1. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
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  5. Aw, Bee Yan & Chung, Sukkyun & Roberts, Mark J, 2000. "Productivity and Turnover in the Export Market: Micro-level Evidence from the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China)," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 65-90, January.
  6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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  8. John Page, 1994. "The East Asian Miracle: Four Lessons for Development Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 219-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Lambson, V.E., 1989. "Industry Evolution With Sunk Costs And Uncertian Market Conditions," Working papers 8904, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. Good, D. & Nadiri, M.I. & Sickles, R., 1996. "Index Number and Factor Demand Approaches to the Estimarion of Productivity," Working Papers 96-34, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J., 1989. "Variation In Producer Turnover Across U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 12-89-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  14. Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Industrial Organization and Product Quality: Evidence from South Korean and Taiwanese Exports," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Studies of Strategic Trade Policy, pages 195-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Levy, Brian, 1990. "Transactions costs, the size of firms and industrial policy : Lessons from a comparative case study of the footwear industry in Korea and Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 151-178, November.
  16. Pack, Howard & Westphal, Larry E., 1986. "Industrial strategy and technological change : Theory versus reality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-128, June.
  17. Bee Yan Aw & Xiaomin Chen & Mark J. Roberts, 1997. "Firm-level Evidence on Productivity Differentials, Turnover, and Exports in Taiwanese Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 6235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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