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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. Verhoogen, Eric, 2007. "Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 2913, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Halpern, László & Koren, Miklós & Szeidl, Adam, 2005. "Imports and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2008. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 14416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Rodrigue, Joel, 2008. "Does the use of imported intermediates increase productivity? Plant-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 106-118, August.
  6. Natalie Chen & Jean Imbs & Andrew Scott, 2006. "The dynamics of trade and competition," Working Paper Research 91, National Bank of Belgium.
  7. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2007. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm : Evidence from Belgium," Working Paper Research 114, National Bank of Belgium.
  8. Maria Bas & Ivan Ledezma, 2010. "Trade integration and within-plant productivity evolution in Chile," Post-Print hal-00562714, HAL.
  9. Kugler, M., Verhoogen, E.A., 2008. "Product Quality at the Plant Level: Plant Size, Exports, Output Prices and Input Prices in Colombia," Working Papers eg0058, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2008.
  10. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Lapham, Beverly, 2013. "Productivity and the decision to import and export: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 297-316.
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