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The Decision to Import Capital Goods in India: Firms' Financial Factors Matter

  • Maria Bas
  • Antoine Berthou

Are financial constraints preventing firms from importing capital goods? Sourcing capital goods from foreign countries is costly and requires internal or external financial resources. A simple model of foreign technology adoption shows that credit constraints act as a barrier to importing capital goods under imperfect financial markets. In our study, we investigate this prediction using detailed balance-sheet data from a sample of about 5,500 Indian manufacturing firms per year, having reported information on financial statements and imports by type of good over the period 1996-2006. Our empirical findings shed new light on the micro determinants of firms’ choice to import capital goods. Baseline estimation results show that firms with a lower leverage and higher liquidity are more likely to source their capital goods from foreign countries. Quantitatively, an improvement of the liquidity or leverage ratio by 10% increases the probability of importing capital goods by 3% to 5% respectively, independently of productivity. These findings are robust to alternative measures of foreign technology. The effect of leverage is also robust with respect to specifications dealing directly with reverse causality.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2011-06.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2011-06
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  1. Schor, Adriana, 2004. "Heterogeneous productivity response to tariff reduction. Evidence from Brazilian manufacturing firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 373-396, December.
  2. Markusen, James R, 1989. "Trade in Producer Services and in Other Specialized Intermediate Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 85-95, March.
  3. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, . "Imports and exports at the level of the firm: Evidence from Belgium," Discussion Papers 07/28, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  4. 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.
  5. Ann E. Harrison & Margaret S. McMillan, 2001. "Does Direct Foreign Investment Affect Domestic Firms' Credit Constraints?," NBER Working Papers 8438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "International Trade with Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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