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Growing like China: Firm performance and global production line position

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  • 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.

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  • 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
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    5. Lu, Yunguo & Zhang, Lin, 2022. "National mitigation policy and the competitiveness of Chinese firms," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    6. Yue Lu & Lijing Deng & Ka Zeng, 2022. "Foreign direct investment, innovation, and domestic value‐added in exports: Firm‐level evidence from China," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 1199-1228, September.
    7. Benoît Mahy & François Rycx & Guillaume Vermeylen & Mélanie Volral, 2022. "Productivity and wage effects of firm‐level upstreamness: Evidence from Belgian linked panel data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(7), pages 2222-2250, July.
    8. Ping Hua, 2021. "How did China's GVCs participation influence its manufacturing productivity?," Working Papers hal-03505687, HAL.
    9. 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.
    10. Dongmin Kong & Mengxu Xiong, 2021. "Unintended consequences of tax incentives on export product quality: Evidence from a natural experiment in China," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 802-837, September.
    11. Antràs, Pol & CHOR, HAN PING DAVIN, 2021. "Global Value Chains," CEPR Discussion Papers 15908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Dazhong Cheng & Jian Wang & Zhiguo Xiao, 2022. "Free trade agreements partnership and value chain linkages: Evidence from China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(8), pages 2532-2559, August.
    13. Gaaitzen de Vries & Aobo Jiang & Oscar Lemmers & Shang‐Jin Wei, 2021. "Firm productivity and functional specialisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(5), pages 1232-1260, May.
    14. Marcel P. Timmer & Bart Los & Robert Stehrer & Gaaitzen J. Vries, 2021. "Supply Chain Fragmentation and the Global Trade Elasticity: A New Accounting Framework," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 69(4), pages 656-680, December.

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    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

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