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Export Subsidies in a Heterogeneous Firms Framework: Evidence from Colombia

  • Christian Helmers
  • Natalia Trofimenko

We evaluate the impact of firm-specific export subsidies on exports in Colombia. Using a twostage selection correction procedure, we obtain firm-specific predicted subsidy amounts that can be explained by the characteristics that determine the firms’ eligibility for government support and its amount. Drawing on the accounts of the discretionary allocation of subsidies in developing countries, we regard the discrepancy between the predicted and the observed subsidy amounts as a proxy for a firm’s ties to government officials. Controlling for observable and unobservable firm characteristics and persistence in exports, we find that although, in general, subsidies exhibit a positive impact on export volumes, this impact is diminishing in subsidy size and in the degree of a firm’s connectedness.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2010-26.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-26
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  1. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Charles R. Frank Jr. & Kwang Suk Kim & Larry E. Westphal, 1975. "Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: South Korea," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fran75-1, October.
  3. Dani Rodrik, 1993. "Taking Trade Policy Seriously: Export Subsidization as a Case Study in Policy Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 4567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2001. "Market entry costs, producer heterogeneity and export dynamics," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 03-10, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  5. Nogues, Julio, 1989. "Latin America's experience with export subsidies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 182, The World Bank.
  6. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  8. Charles R. Frank Jr. & Kwang Suk Kim & Larry E. Westphal, 1975. "Appendices to "Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: South Korea"," NBER Chapters, in: Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: South Korea, pages 245-257 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Faini, Ricardo, 1988. "Export supply, capacity, and relative prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 123, The World Bank.
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