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Trade Liberalization and Investment: Firm-level Evidence from Mexico


  • Ivan T. Kandilov
  • Asli Leblebicioglu


Plant-level panel data from Mexico's Annual Industrial Survey is employed to evaluate the impact of reductions in tariffs and import license coverage on final goods, as well as intermediates, on firms'investment decisions. Using data from 1984 to 1990, a period during which a large scale trade liberalization occurred, a dynamic investment equation is estimated using the system-GMM estimator developed by Arellano and Bover (1995) and Blundell and Bond (1998). Consistent with theory, the empirical analyses show that a reduction in import protection on final goods leads to lower plant-level investment, whereas reductions in tariffs and import license coverage on intermediate inputs result in higher investment. Also, firms with larger import costs experience a larger increase in investment following a reduction in import protection. On the other hand, higher markup firms lower investment more aggressively following reductions in tariffs and import license coverage on final goods. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivan T. Kandilov & Asli Leblebicioglu, 2012. "Trade Liberalization and Investment: Firm-level Evidence from Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 320-349.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:26:y:2012:i:2:p:320-349

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schor, Adriana, 2004. "Heterogeneous productivity response to tariff reduction. Evidence from Brazilian manufacturing firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 373-396, December.
    2. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2009. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm: Evidence from Belgium," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(5), pages 692-734, May.
    3. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A. & Romer, Paul M., 1991. "International trade with endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 971-1001, May.
    4. Markusen, James R, 1989. "Trade in Producer Services and in Other Specialized Intermediate Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 85-95, March.
    5. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Rodrigue, Joel, 2008. "Does the use of imported intermediates increase productivity? Plant-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 106-118, August.
    6. Ann E. Harrison & Margaret S. McMillan, 2001. "Does Direct Foreign Investment Affect Domestic Firms' Credit Constraints?," NBER Working Papers 8438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mourad Zmami & Ousama Ben-Salha, 2015. "The adjustment of plant-level investment to exchange rate fluctuations in Tunisia: do the size and the ownership structure matter?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2487-2505.
    2. repec:tou:journl:v:45:y:2017:p:79-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Maria Bas & Ivan Ledezma, 2015. "Trade Liberalization and Heterogeneous Technology Investments," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(4), pages 738-781, September.

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