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

In: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data

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  • John Baldwin
  • Wulong Gu

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2009. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 557-592 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0502
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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Working Paper Series WP03-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    3. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 534-550, May.
    4. Harris, Richard, 1984. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-1032, December.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
    8. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
    9. Baldwin,John R. & Gorecki,Paul, 1998. "The Dynamics of Industrial Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521633574, March.
    10. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ottaviano, G.I.P. & Thisse, J.-F., 1999. "Monopolistic Competition, Multiproduct Firms and Optimum Product Diversity," Economics Working Papers eco99/31, European University Institute.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    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. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2005. "Market Size Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-25, March.
    16. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
    17. Greenhut,Melvin L. & Norman,George & Hung,Chao-Shun, 1987. "The Economics of Imperfect Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521315647, April.
    18. Baldwin, John R. & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2002. "Productivity Growth in Canada," Productivity Growth in Canada, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division, number stcb6e, March.
    19. 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.
    20. 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 Publishing.
    21. Baldwin, John R. & Rama, Ed & Sabourin, David, 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.
    22. Baldwin, John R. & Gu, Wulong, 2003. "Participation in Export Markets and Productivity Performance in Canadian Manufacturing," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2003011e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    23. 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.
    24. Baldwin, John R. & Beckstead, Desmond & 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.
    25. Greenhut,Melvin L. & Norman,George & Hung,Chao-Shun, 1987. "The Economics of Imperfect Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521305525, April.
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