Estimating domestic content in exports when processing trade is pervasive
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).
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