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Trade productivity upgrading, trade fragmentation, and FDI in manufacturing: The Asian development experience

Author

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  • Jesse Mora
  • Nirvikar Singh

Abstract

Purpose - This paper aims to examine the experience of ten Asian countries with respect to growth, trade and FDI. It seeks to explore relationships between the nature of exports and imports and growth, as well as the relevance of FDI as a channel for these relationships. Design/methodology/approach - The paper opted for an empirical approach. It included collecting standardize data on international trade, GDP per capita, and FDI inflows. The trade data and GDP data were used in creating the productivity level for exports and imports for all of the relevant countries. The paper analyses how these productivity levels compare to GDP per capita, change over time, and relate to FDI inflows. Findings - The authors find that FDI is positively correlated with higher productivity levels in exports and imports for many of the countries in their sample. The effect for imports is particularly apparent for imported intermediate goods, reflecting the emergence of greater trade fragmentation. In turn, both imported intermediates and exports that are associated with higher productivity levels are positively correlated with per capita GDP. Research limitations/implications - There are a couple of research limitations. First, the work does not determine causality; future econometric work should help to identify the causality mechanism. Second, trade fragmentation might lead to an overestimation of “productivity” levels; future work should try to identify the extent of the bias and a way to fix the issue. Practical implications - This work may have implications for how policymakers view trade and FDI policies, and the possible links between them, in the context of promoting growth. Social implications - This work may have implications for understanding the links between growth and structural change in the economy, which is in turn linked to societal change. Originality/value - This paper brings together empirical evidence that integrates discussions of FDI, trade fragmentation and improvements in the productivity of traded goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesse Mora & Nirvikar Singh, 2013. "Trade productivity upgrading, trade fragmentation, and FDI in manufacturing: The Asian development experience," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(1), pages 61-87, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:igdrpp:v:6:y:2013:i:1:p:61-87
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alfaro, Laura & Hammel, Eliza, 2007. "Capital flows and capital goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 128-150, May.
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    3. Dean, Judith M. & Lovely, Mary E. & Mora, Jesse, 2009. "Decomposing China-Japan-U.S. trade: Vertical specialization, ownership, and organizational form," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 596-610, November.
    4. Deborah L. Swenson, 2012. "The Influence of Chinese Trade Policy on Automobile Assembly and Parts," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 58(4), pages 703-730, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Kamal Saggi, 2002. "Trade, Foreign Direct Investment, and International Technology Transfer: A Survey," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 191-235, September.
    7. Keller, Wolfgang, 2010. "International Trade, Foreign Direct Investment, and Technology Spillovers," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 793-829, Elsevier.
    8. Dean, Judith & Fung, K.C. & Wang, Zhi, 2008. "How vertically specialized is Chinese trade?," BOFIT Discussion Papers 31/2008, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    9. 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.
    10. Unctad, 2009. "Global Foreign Direct Investment In Decline," Transnational Corporations Review, Ottawa United Learning Academy, vol. 1(2), pages 1-3, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. KARGI, Bilal, 2014. "Portfolio in Turkish Economy, and A Long Termed Relation Between Foreign Direct Investments and The Growth, and The Structural Breakage Analysis (1980-2012)," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 70-81.
    2. Richard Baldwin & Masahiro Kawai & Ganeshan Wignaraja (ed.), 2014. "A World Trade Organization for the 21st Century," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15991.
    3. Yunling Zhang & Rongyan Wang, 2014. "The role of foreign direct investment flows and a possible multilateral agreement," Chapters, in: Richard Baldwin & Masahiro Kawai & Ganeshan Wignaraja (ed.), A World Trade Organization for the 21st Century, chapter 13, pages 403-420, Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International trade; Trade policy; Product upgrading; Trade fragmentation; Vertical specialization; FDI and economic development; Trade; Manufacturing industries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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