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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  2. Alejandro Cunat & Marc J. Melitz, 2007. "Volatility, labor market flexibility, and the pattern of comparative advantage," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19714, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  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.
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  7. Koujianou Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "The response of the informal sector to trade liberalization," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 463-496, December.
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