IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/inecon/v130y2021ics0022199621000222.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Growing like China: Firm performance and global production line position

Author

Listed:
  • Chor, Davin
  • Manova, Kalina
  • Yu, Zhihong

Abstract

Global value chains have fundamentally transformed international trade and development in recent decades. We use matched firm-level customs and manufacturing survey data, together with Input-Output tables for China, to examine how Chinese firms position themselves in global production lines and how this evolves with productivity and performance over the firm lifecycle. We document a sharp rise in the upstreamness of imports, stable positioning of exports, and rapid expansion in production stages conducted in China over the 1992–2014 period, both in the aggregate and within firms over time. Firms span more stages as they grow more productive, bigger and more experienced. This is accompanied by a rise in input purchases, value added in production, fixed costs incurred, and profits. We rationalize these patterns with a stylized model of the firm lifecycle with complementarity between the scale of production and the scope of stages performed.

Suggested Citation

  • Chor, Davin & Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2021. "Growing like China: Firm performance and global production line position," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:130:y:2021:i:c:s0022199621000222
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2021.103445
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022199621000222
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jinteco.2021.103445?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2013. "Organizing the Global Value Chain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2127-2204, November.
    2. Laura Alfaro & Pol Antràs & Davin Chor & Paola Conconi, 2019. "Internalizing Global Value Chains: A Firm-Level Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(2), pages 508-559.
    3. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2014. "Tracing Value-Added and Double Counting in Gross Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 459-494, February.
    4. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education, Third Edition, pages 299-322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Isabelle Mejean, 2018. "The Micro Origins of International Business-Cycle Comovement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(1), pages 82-108, January.
    6. Baldwin, Richard & Venables, Anthony J., 2013. "Spiders and snakes: Offshoring and agglomeration in the global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 245-254.
    7. repec:clu:wpaper:0708-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2012. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 379-436.
    9. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2017. "Multi-product firms and product quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 116-137.
    10. Boehm, Johannes & Dhingra, Swati & Morrow, John, 2019. "The comparative advantage of firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102596, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Pol Antràs & Alonso de Gortari, 2020. "On the Geography of Global Value Chains," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(4), pages 1553-1598, July.
    12. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel & Su Wang, 2013. "An Elementary Theory of Global Supply Chains," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 109-144.
    13. Pol Antras & Davin Chor & Thibault Fally & Russell Hillberry, 2012. "Measuring the Upstreamness of Production and Trade Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 412-416, May.
    14. Philipp Harms & Oliver Lorz & Dieter Urban, 2012. "Offshoring along the production chain," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(1), pages 93-106, February.
    15. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2009. "Plants and Imported Inputs: New Facts and an Interpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 501-507, May.
    16. Ricardo Hausmann & Bailey Klinger, 2007. "The Structure of the Product Space and the Evolution of Comparative Advantage," CID Working Papers 146, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    17. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2016. "How firms export: Processing vs. ordinary trade with financial frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 120-137.
    18. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2010. "Multiple-Product Firms and Product Switching," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 70-97, March.
    19. Albert Park & Dean Yang & Xinzheng Shi & Yuan Jiang, 2010. "Exporting and Firm Performance: Chinese Exporters and the Asian Financial Crisis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 822-842, November.
    20. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2016. "Globalization and Chinese Growth: Ends of Trends?," Working Paper Series 16-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    21. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
    22. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    23. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 283-313, July.
    24. Xi Li & Xuewen Liu & Yong Wang, 2015. "A Model of China's State Capitalism," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-12, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Feb 2015.
    25. Hiau Looi Kee & Heiwai Tang, 2016. "Domestic Value Added in Exports: Theory and Firm Evidence from China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1402-1436, June.
    26. Kalina Manova & Shang-Jin Wei & Zhiwei Zhang, 2015. "Firm Exports and Multinational Activity Under Credit Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 574-588, July.
    27. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
    28. Rocco Macchiavello & Ameet Morjaria, 2021. "Competition and Relational Contracts in the Rwanda Coffee Chain," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 136(2), pages 1089-1143.
    29. Kramarz, Francis & Martin, Julien & Mejean, Isabelle, 2020. "Volatility in the small and in the large: The lack of diversification in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    30. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
    31. Tang, Heiwai & Wang, Fei & Wang, Zhi, 2020. "Domestic segment of global value chains in China under state capitalism✰," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 797-821.
    32. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Yifan, 2012. "Creative accounting or creative destruction? Firm-level productivity growth in Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 339-351.
    33. Antr�s, Pol & Chor, Davin, 2017. "On the Measurement of Upstreamness and Downstreamness in Global Value Chains," CEPR Discussion Papers 12549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    34. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Rodrigue, Joel, 2008. "Does the use of imported intermediates increase productivity? Plant-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 106-118, August.
    35. Bas, Maria & Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa, 2015. "Input-trade liberalization, export prices and quality upgrading," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 250-262.
    36. Fally, Thibault & Hillberry, Russell, 2018. "A Coasian model of international production chains," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 299-315.
    37. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    38. Maria Bas & Strauss-Kahn Vanessa, 2015. "Input-Trade Liberalization, Export Prices and Quality Upgrading," Post-Print hal-01297151, HAL.
    39. Ahn, JaeBin & Khandelwal, Amit K. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "The role of intermediaries in facilitating trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 73-85, May.
    40. László Halpern & Miklós Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2015. "Imported Inputs and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3660-3703, December.
    41. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    42. 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.
    43. Cecile Gaubert & Oleg Itskhoki, 2021. "Granular Comparative Advantage," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(3), pages 871-939.
    44. Kikuchi, Tomoo & Nishimura, Kazuo & Stachurski, John, 2018. "Span of control, transaction costs and the structure of production chains," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 13(2), May.
    45. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Kevin Caves & Garth Frazer, 2015. "Identification Properties of Recent Production Function Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2411-2451, November.
    46. Zheng Wang & Zhihong Yu, 2012. "Trading Partners, Traded Products and Firm Performances of China’s Exporter-Importers: Does Processing Trade Make a Difference?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(12), pages 1795-1824, December.
    47. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
    48. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    49. Lili Yan Ing & Miaojie Yu, . "World Trade Evolution Growth, Productivity and Employment," Books, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), number routledge-eria-03 edited by Lili Yan Ing & Miaojie Yu.
    50. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Yifan, 2014. "Challenges of working with the Chinese NBS firm-level data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 339-352.
    51. Johnson, Robert C. & Noguera, Guillermo, 2012. "Accounting for intermediates: Production sharing and trade in value added," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 224-236.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. George, Ammu & Li, Changtai & Lim, Jing Zhi & Xie, Taojun, 2021. "From SARS to COVID-19: The evolving role of China-ASEAN production network," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    2. Zhong, Zhangqi & Guo, Zhifang & Zhang, Jianwu, 2021. "Does the participation in global value chains promote interregional carbon emissions transferring via trade? Evidence from 39 major economies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    3. Lamei Wu & Guifu Chen & Shuijun Peng, 2021. "Human Capital Expansion and Global Value Chain Upgrading: Firm‐level Evidence from China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 29(5), pages 28-56, September.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Feng, Ling & Li, Zhiyuan & Swenson, Deborah L., 2016. "The connection between imported intermediate inputs and exports: Evidence from Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 86-101.
    2. Fan, Haichao & Li, Yao Amber & Yeaple, Stephen R., 2018. "On the relationship between quality and productivity: Evidence from China's accession to the WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 28-49.
    3. Torres Mazzi, Caio & Foster-McGregor, Neil, 2021. "Imported intermediates, technological capabilities and exports: Evidence from Brazilian firm-level data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1).
    4. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2017. "Multi-product firms and product quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 116-137.
    5. Bie, Xiaodong & Ciani, Andrea, 2021. "Born similar, develop apart: Evidence on Chinese hybrid exporters," DICE Discussion Papers 364, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    6. Bloom, Nick & Manova, Kalina & Teng Sun, Stephen & Van Reenen, John & Yu, Zhihong, 2018. "Managing trade: evidence from China and the US," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88703, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Dai, Mi & Maitra, Madhura & Yu, Miaojie, 2016. "Unexceptional exporter performance in China? The role of processing trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 177-189.
    8. Bruno Merlevede & Angelos Theodorakopoulos, 2018. "Productivity Effects of Internationalisation Through the Domestic Supply Chain: Evidence from Europe," Working Papers of VIVES - Research Centre for Regional Economics 627689, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), VIVES - Research Centre for Regional Economics.
    9. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2016. "How firms export: Processing vs. ordinary trade with financial frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 120-137.
    10. Lu, Yue & Shi, Huimin & Luo, Wei & Liu, Bin, 2018. "Productivity, financial constraints, and firms' global value chain participation: Evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 184-194.
    11. Fan, Haichao & Gao, Xiang & Li, Yao Amber & Luong, Tuan Anh, 2018. "Trade liberalization and markups: Micro evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 103-130.
    12. Fan, Haichao & Lai, Edwin L.-C. & (Steffan) Qi, Han, 2019. "Trade liberalization and Firms’ export performance in China: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 640-668.
    13. Fally, Thibault & Hillberry, Russell, 2018. "A Coasian model of international production chains," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 299-315.
    14. Xavier Cirera & Daniel Lederman & Juan A. Máñez Castillejo & María E. Rochina Barrachina & Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis, 2021. "Firm productivity gains in a period of slow trade liberalization: evidence from Brazil," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 38(1), pages 57-87, April.
    15. Alvaro Garcia-Marin & Nico Voigtländer, 2019. "Exporting and Plant-Level Efficiency Gains: It's in the Measure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1777-1825.
    16. Qiu, Larry D. & Yu, Miaojie, 2020. "Export scope, managerial efficiency, and trade liberalization: Evidence from Chinese firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 71-90.
    17. Imbruno, Michele & Ketterer, Tobias D., 2018. "Energy efficiency gains from importing intermediate inputs: Firm-level evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 117-141.
    18. Maria Bas & Antoine Berthou, 2017. "Does Input-Trade Liberalization Affect Firms’ Foreign Technology Choice?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(2), pages 351-384.
    19. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 241-275, May.
    20. Bruno Merlevede & Angelos Theodorakopoulos, 2021. "Productivity effects of internationalisation through the domestic supply chain," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(6), pages 808-832, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Global value chains; Production line position; Upstreamness; Firm heterogeneity; Firm lifecycle; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:130:y:2021:i:c:s0022199621000222. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.