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China and the Future of Asian Electronics Trade

  • Byron Gangnes
  • Ari Van Assche

China's emergence as a key player in the global electronics industry has ignited concerns among its East Asian neighbors. Upper and middle-income economies fear that China's rise is hollowing out their electronics industrial base. Lower-income economies worry that they cannot compete with China's seemingly endless supply of cheap labor. In this chapter, we describe the forces behind China's rise in electronics, and we consider the implications for regional electronics trade and production patterns. Using a unique world electronics production data set, we investigate the upgrading trajectories of East Asian economies within the industry. Consistent with the theory of international production fragmentation, we find that Japan and the NIEs have a more sophisticated production mix than their lower-income neighbors. These latter economies, however, are upgrading their electronics industries more rapidly. L'émergence de la Chine comme étant un joueur clé dans l'industrie électronique mondiale a suscité de l'inquiétude parmi ses voisins de l'Asie de l'Est. Les économies à revenus élevé et moyen craignent que la montée de la Chine nuise à leur centre industriel électronique. Les économies plus pauvres, pour leur part, s'inquiètent du fait qu'elles ne pourront pas être compétitives face à la main d'uvre bon marché sans limite de la Chine. Dans ce chapitre, nous décrivons les forces à l'origine de la montée de la Chine dans le domaine de l'électronique, et en étudions les conséquences pour le commerce électronique régional et les modèles de production. Employant une banque de données unique sur la production électronique mondiale, nous examinons les trajectoires de perfectionnement des économies de l'Asie de l'Est dans l'industrie. En accord avec la théorie de fragmentation de la production internationale, nous trouvons que le Japon et les nouvelles économies industrialisées détiennent une combinaison de production plus sophistiquée que leurs voisins à faible revenu. Ces derniers, cependant, voient leurs industries de l'électronique progresser plus rapidement.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2008s-05.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2008s-05
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