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China's Pure Exporter Subsidies

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  • Fabrice Defever
  • Alejandro Riaño

Abstract

One third of Chinese exporters sell more than ninety percent of their production abroad. We argue that this distinctive pattern is attributable to a wide range of subsidies that provide incentives to these "pure exporters". We propose a heterogeneous firm model in which firms exporting all their output receive an ad-valorem sales subsidy. Using microdata on manufacturing firms matched with custom transactions for the years 2000-2006, we measure sizable differences in productivity and paid taxes between pure exporters and domestic firms and between pure and regular exporters, in line with the predictions of our model. Embedding a pure-exporter subsidy in a two-country general equilibrium environment, we show that this instrument is worse from a welfare standpoint than a standard export subsidy, partly because it increases protection of the domestic market. A counterfactual analysis suggests that eliminating these subsidies would result in a welfare gain for China comparable to halving its trade costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabrice Defever & Alejandro Riaño, 2012. "China's Pure Exporter Subsidies," CEP Discussion Papers dp1182, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1182
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    Cited by:

    1. Natasha Agarwal & Chris Milner & Alejandro Riaño, 2011. "Credit Constraints and FDI Spillovers in China," Discussion Papers 11/21, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    2. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2016. "How firms export: Processing vs. ordinary trade with financial frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 120-137.
    3. Agarwal, Natasha & Milner, Chris & Riaño, Alejandro, 2014. "Credit constraints and spillovers from foreign firms in China," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 261-275.
    4. Theresa M. Greaney & Yao Li, 2017. "Examining Determinants of Foreign Wage Premiums in China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(10), pages 2056-2077, October.
    5. Imbruno, Michele, 2016. "China and WTO liberalization: Imports, tariffs and non-tariff barriers," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 222-237.
    6. Greaney, Theresa M. & Li, Yao & Tu, Dongmei, 2017. "Pollution control and foreign firms’ exit behavior in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 148-159.
    7. Feng, Ling & Li, Zhiyuan & Swenson, Deborah L., 2016. "The connection between imported intermediate inputs and exports: Evidence from Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 86-101.
    8. Julien Gourdon & Stéphanie Monjon & Sandra Poncet, 2014. "Incomplete VAT rebates to exporters : how do they affect China's export performance?," Working Papers 2014-05, CEPII research center.
    9. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13784 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Brandt, Loren & Morrow, Peter M., 2017. "Tariffs and the organization of trade in China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 85-103.
    11. Theresa M. Greaney & Yao Li, 2013. "Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Inequality in China: A Heterogeneous Firms Approach," China Economic Policy Review (CEPR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(02), pages 1-49.
    12. Giovanni Facchini & Maggie Y. Liu & Anna Maria Mayda & Minghai Zhou, 2017. "The impact of China's WTO accession on internal migration," Development Working Papers 422, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    13. Xuefeng, Qian & Yaşar, Mahmut, 2016. "Export Market Diversification and Firm Productivity: Evidence from a Large Developing Country," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 28-47.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade policy; export subsidies; heterogeneous firms; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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