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The Determinants of Capital Intensity in Manufacturing: The Role of Factor Market Imperfections

  • Hasan, Rana
  • Mitra, Devashish
  • Sundaram, Asha

We study the role of factor market imperfections in determining industry-level capital intensities. Using cross-country panel data on manufacturing industries, we find that labor market imperfections arising from labor regulation have a greater influence on capital intensity than do credit market imperfections. Less restrictive labor regulations are associated with lower capital intensity in manufacturing, especially in middle-income and developing economies and in sectors that either require more frequent labor adjustment or are more unskilled labor intensive. This suggests that stringent labor regulations can impose costs on labor use, thereby curtailing gains from trade based on factor-abundance driven comparative advantage.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 91-103

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:51:y:2013:i:c:p:91-103
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  1. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  2. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  3. Rana Hasan & Devashish Mitra & K.V. Ramaswamy, 2007. "Trade Reforms, Labor Regulations, and Labor-Demand Elasticities: Empirical Evidence from India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 466-481, August.
  4. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Devashish Mitra & Beyza Ural, 2009. "Indian manufacturing: A slow sector in a rapidly growing economy," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 205-205.
  6. Alejandro Cuñat & Marc J. Melitz, 2007. "Volatility, Labor Market Flexibility, and the Pattern of Comparative Advantage," CEP Discussion Papers dp0799, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can labour regulation hinder economic performance? Evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
  9. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "The Response of the Informal Sector to Trade Liberalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3874, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Aditya Bhattacharjea, 2006. "Labour Market Regulation and Industrial Performance in India--A Critical Review of the Empirical Evidence," Working papers 141, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  11. Panagariya, Arvind, 2011. "India: The Emerging Giant," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199751563, December.
  12. Peter K. Schott, 2001. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," NBER Working Papers 8244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gupta, Poonam & Hasan, Rana & Kumar, Utsav, 2009. "Big Reforms but Small Payoffs: Explaining the Weak Record of Growth and Employment in Indian Manufacturing," MPRA Paper 13496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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