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The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification

In: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data

  • John Baldwin
  • Wulong Gu

This paper examines the effect of trade liberalization on plant scale, production-run length and product diversification. We first develop a model of trade in differentiated products with multi-product plants. We then present empirical evidence using a large panel of Canadian manufacturing plants and their experience with the 1989 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The model predicts that the bilateral tariff reduction reduces the product diversification of exporting plants, increases the production-run length and has an ambiguous effect on the size of those plants. It also reduces the product diversification and size of non-exporting plants, and has no effect on the production-run length of those plants. The empirical evidence on non-exporting plants provides broad support for the model. The evidence on exporting plants shows that exporters reduce product diversification, and increase production-run length and plant size, but those changes do not appear to be related to tariff cuts. Once in the export markets, plants respond to forces other than tariff cuts. Further tariff cuts have less effect on those plants.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0502.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0502
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

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    1. Rama, Ed & Sabourin, David & Baldwin, John R., 1999. "Growth of Advanced Technology Use in Canadian Manufacturing During the 1990's," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1999105e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    3. Baldwin,John R. & Gorecki,Paul, 1995. "The Dynamics of Industrial Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521465618, October.
    4. Baldwin, John R. & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2002. "Productivity Growth in Canada," Productivity Growth in Canada, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis, number stcb6e, December.
    5. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
    6. Jeffrey Campbell, 2000. "Market Size Matters," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1225, Econometric Society.
    7. Greenhut,Melvin L. & Norman,George & Hung,Chao-Shun, 1987. "The Economics of Imperfect Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521315647, October.
    8. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms and Industry Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0585, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Beckstead, Desmond & Baldwin, John R. & Caves, Richard, 2002. "Changes in the Diversification of Canadian Manufacturing Firms and Plants (1973-1997): A Move to Specialization," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002179e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    11. John R. Baldwin & Ron S. Jarmin & Jianmin Tang, 2004. "Small North American Producers Give Ground in the 1990s," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 349-361, November.
    12. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 41, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    13. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 534-550, May.
    14. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    15. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    16. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
    18. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    19. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2004. "Trade Liberalization: Export-market Participation, Productivity Growth, and Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 372-392, Autumn.
    20. Greenhut,Melvin L. & Norman,George & Hung,Chao-Shun, 1987. "The Economics of Imperfect Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521305525, October.
    21. Richard Harris, 1983. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 524, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    22. John R. Baldwin & Richard E. Caves & Wulong Gu, 2005. "Responses to Trade Liberalization: Changes in Product Diversification in Foreign- and Domestic-Controlled Plants," Chapters, in: Governance, Multinationals and Growth, chapter 10 Edward Elgar.
    23. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2003. "Export-market participation and productivity performance in Canadian manufacturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 634-657, August.
    24. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2003. "Participation in Export Markets and Productivity Performance in Canadian Manufacturing," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2003011e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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