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Estimating domestic content in exports when processing trade is pervasive

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  • Koopman, Robert
  • Wang, Zhi
  • Wei, Shang-Jin

Abstract

For many questions, it is crucial to know the extent of domestic value added (DVA) in a country's exports, but the computation is more complicated when processing trade is pervasive. We propose a method for computing domestic and foreign contents that allows for processing trade. By applying our framework to Chinese data, we estimate that the share of domestic content in its manufactured exports was about 50% before China's WTO membership, and has risen to nearly 60% since then. There are also interesting variations across sectors. Those sectors that are likely labeled as relatively sophisticated such as electronic devices have particularly low domestic content (about 30% or less).

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:1:p:178-189
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2011.12.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "What's So Special about China's Exports?," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(5), pages 1-19, September.
    2. Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "What Accounts for the Rising Sophistication of China's Exports?," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 63-104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Paul R. Krugman, 2008. "Trade and Wages, Reconsidered," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 103-154.
    4. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "How Much of Chinese Exports is Really Made In China? Assessing Domestic Value-Added When Processing Trade is Pervasive," NBER Working Papers 14109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
    6. Peter K. Schott, 2008. "The relative sophistication of Chinese exports [‘Manufacturing Earnings and Compensation in China’]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23(53), pages 6-49.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Domestic content; Foreign content; Processing exports; Duty drawback; Vertical specialization; Global production chains; Chinese economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access

    Statistics

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