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Trade, Foreign Inputs and Firms’ Decisions: Theory and Evidence

  • Maria Bas

We investigate the effect of different channels through which input trade liberalization affects firms’ export decisions. We develop a trade model with heterogeneous firms and sectors of varying imported input intensity that reproduces different mechanisms through which the access to foreign inputs affects the performance of domestic firms. In industries with lower input tariffs (or more intensive in imported intermediate goods), more firms become exporters and export larger volumes. The effect of firm productivity on export status and export sales is greater for firms producing in these industries. The export selection process is reinforced by the access to foreign inputs. We provide strong empirical evidence in support of these theoretical predictions based on plant-level panel data from Argentina (1992-2001) and Chile (1990-1999). Our findings suggest that the impact of firm productivity on the probability of exporting and on the volume of exports is more pronounced for firms producing in industries that have a greater access to foreign inputs.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2009-35.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2009-35
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  1. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2008. "The Quality-Complementarity Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence from Colombia," NBER Working Papers 14418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2007. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm: Evidence from Belgium," CEP Discussion Papers dp0801, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Pinelopi Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Trade Liberalization and New Imported Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 494-500, May.
  4. Eric Verhoogen, 2007. "Trade, quality upgrading and wage inequality in the Mexican manufacturing sector," Discussion Papers 0607-08, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767, November.
  6. Hiroyuki Kasahara & Beverly Lapham, 2008. "Productivity and the Decision to Import and Export: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2240, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Halpern, László & Koren, Miklós & Szeidl, Adam, 2005. "Imports and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Joel Rodrigue & Hiroyuki Kasahara, 2004. "Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 511, Econometric Society.
  9. Maria Bas & Ivan Ledezma, 2008. "Trade integration and within-plant productivity evolution in Chile," PSE Working Papers halshs-00588309, HAL.
  10. Natalie Chen & Jean Imbs & Andrew Scott, 2006. "The dynamics of trade and competition," Working Paper Research 91, National Bank of Belgium.
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