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Access to new imported varieties and total factor productivity: Firm level evidence from France

This paper aims at providing causal evidence on the effects of expanded imported varieties on total factor productivity (TFP) using French firm level data. Our strategy is to build an exact index of increase in varieties -using the Broda, Greenfield and Weinstein (2006) methodology. This index captures the impact of new varieties on total factor productivity within a Dixit-Stiglitz framework based on a Constant Elasticity of Substitution production function. We argue that measurement problems are central to the question we try to address. We deal with this issue using alternative instrumental variables strategies. First, we work with sectoral variety index in order to reduce the effect of outliers. Secondly, working with estimated bilateral imports rather than observed ones, we are able to adjust the variety index for measurement errors and find a strong impact of this index on TFP. New varieties that enter the production function appear as weakly substitutable- with an elasticity of substitution ranging from 1.25 and 1.5 - and conducive to significant TFP growth.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 204.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:204
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Harrigan, James, 1995. "The Volume of Trade in Differentiated Intermediate Goods: Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 283-93, May.
  2. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
  4. Matthew D. Shapiro & David W. Wilcox, 1996. "Mismeasurement in the Consumer Price Index: An Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 5590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-76, September.
  6. Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 2002. "Trade liberalization, product variety and growth in a small open economy: a quantitative assessment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 247-272, March.
  7. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  8. Robert C. Feenstra, 1992. "How Costly Is Protectionism?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-178, Summer.
  9. Amil Petrin, 2002. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 705-729, August.
  10. Jerry A. Hausman, 1997. "Valuing the Effect of Regulation on New Services in Telecommunications," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1997 Micr), pages 1-54.
  11. Christian Broda & Joshua Greenfield & David Weinstein, 2006. "From Groundnuts to Globalization: A Structural Estimate of Trade and Growth," NBER Working Papers 12512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  13. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  14. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  15. Paul M. Romer, 1993. "New Goods, Old Theory, and the Welfare Costs of Trade Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 4452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rodríguez, Francisco & Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Sceptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Christian Broda & David W. Weinstein, 2004. "Variety Growth and World Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 139-144, May.
  18. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  19. Pierre Biscourp & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Employment, Skill Structure and International Trade : Firm-level Evidence for France," Working Papers 2004-28, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  20. Bardos, Mireille, 1998. "Detecting the risk of company failure at the Banque de France," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1405-1419, October.
  21. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  22. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "The Mystery of the Excess Trade (Balances)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 170-174, May.
  23. Peter K. Schott, 2001. "Do Rich and Poor Countries Specialize in a Different Mix of Goods? Evidence from Product-Level US Trade Data," NBER Working Papers 8492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
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