IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jcecon/v41y2013i2p527-543.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Weighing China’s export basket: The domestic content and technology intensity of Chinese exports

Author

Listed:
  • Upward, Richard
  • Wang, Zheng
  • Zheng, Jinghai

Abstract

In this paper we use new, detailed, and comprehensive linked firm-transaction data to measure the domestic content and technology intensity of Chinese exports over the period 2000–2007. We evaluate the extent of value-added in China’s exports, using a modification of a method proposed by Hummels et al. (2001) which takes into account the prevalence of processing firms. In addition, we provide new estimates of the skill-and technology-intensity of China’s exports. Our estimates of value-added suggest that the domestic content of China’s exports increased from only 53% to about 60% over the period 2003–2006. Our cross-firm analysis reveals that processing exporters have value-added shares approximately 50% lower than non-processing exporters, even after accounting for ownership, location, and industry. We also show that Chinese exports have become increasingly sophisticated, largely driven by skill and technology improvement within industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Upward, Richard & Wang, Zheng & Zheng, Jinghai, 2013. "Weighing China’s export basket: The domestic content and technology intensity of Chinese exports," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 527-543.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:2:p:527-543
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2012.07.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596712000613
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lall, Sanjaya & Albaladejo, Manuel, 2004. "China's Competitive Performance: A Threat to East Asian Manufactured Exports?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1441-1466, September.
    2. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Shatz, Howard J, 1996. "U.S. Trade with Developing Countries and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 234-239, May.
    3. Amador, João & Cabral, Sónia, 2009. "Vertical specialization across the world: A relative measure," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 267-280, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Chen, Hogan & Kondratowicz, Matthew & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2005. "Vertical specialization and three facts about U.S. international trade," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 35-59, March.
    6. Wood Júnior, Thomaz, 1995. "Workers," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 35(2), March.
    7. 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.
    8. Peter K. Schott, 2008. "The relative sophistication of Chinese exports," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 5-49, January.
    9. Judith M. Dean & K. C. Fung & Zhi Wang, 2011. "Measuring Vertical Specialization: The Case of China," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 609-625, September.
    10. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
    11. 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.
    12. Hongbin Cai & Qiao Liu, 2009. "Competition and Corporate Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Chinese Industrial Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 764-795, April.
    13. 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.
    14. Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
    15. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
    16. Robert Koopman & William Powers & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "Give Credit Where Credit Is Due: Tracing Value Added in Global Production Chains," NBER Working Papers 16426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Chinese exports; Domestic content; Vertical specialisation; Technology intensity;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

    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:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:2:p:527-543. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864 .

    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 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.

    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.