IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fem/femwpa/2018.14.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Chinese are Here: Firm Level Analysis of Import Competition and Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Christian K. Darko

    (University of Birmingham)

  • Giovanni Occhiali

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Overseas Development Institute)

  • Enrico Vanino

    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

This study uses firm level data on 19 Sub-Saharan Africa countries between 2004 and 2016 to provide a rigorous analysis on the impact of Chinese import competition on productivity, skills, and performance of firms., We measure import competition and ports accessibility at the city-industry level to identify the relevance of firms’ location in determining the impact of Chinese imports competition. To address endogeneity concerns, a time-varying instrument for Chinese imports based on the interaction between an exogenous geographic characteristic and a shock in transportation technology is developed. The results show that imports competition has a positive impact on firm performance, mainly in terms of productivity catch-up and skills upgrading. Of particular interest is the finding that the effects of import competition from China are stronger for more remote firms that have lower port accessibility, an indication that Chinese imports in remote areas improves productivity of laggard firms, employment, and intensity of skilled workers. Our findings indicate that African firms are improving their performance as a consequence of the higher Chinese import intensity, mainly through direct competition and the use of higher quality inputs of production sourced from China.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian K. Darko & Giovanni Occhiali & Enrico Vanino, 2018. "The Chinese are Here: Firm Level Analysis of Import Competition and Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2018.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2018.14
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.feem.it/m/publications_pages/ndl2018-014.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 87-117.
    2. Oyejide Titiloye Ademola & Abiodun S Bankole & Adeolu O Adewuyi, 2009. "China–Africa Trade Relations: Insights from AERC Scoping Studies," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 21(4), pages 485-505, September.
    3. Coşar, A. Kerem & Demir, Banu, 2016. "Domestic road infrastructure and international trade: Evidence from Turkey," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 232-244.
    4. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:4-5:p:899-934 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Maria Guadalupe, 2007. "Product Market Competition, Returns to Skill, and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 439-474.
    6. Souleymane Coulibaly & Lionel Fontagné, 2006. "South--South Trade: Geography Matters," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 313-341, June.
    7. Vivien Foster & William Butterfield & Chuan Chen & Nataliya Pushak, 2009. "Building Bridges : China's Growing Role as Infrastructure Financier for Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2614, 05-2018.
    8. Matteo Bugamelli & Fabiano Schivardi & Roberta Zizza, 2010. "The Euro and Firm Restructuring," NBER Chapters,in: Europe and the Euro, pages 99-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
    10. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i:4:p:549-566 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Luigi Pascali, 2017. "The Wind of Change: Maritime Technology, Trade, and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2821-2854, September.
    12. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    13. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    14. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    15. Yi Lu & Travis Ng, 2013. "Import Competition and Skill Content in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1404-1417, October.
    16. Atkin, David & Donaldson, Dave, 2015. "Who’s Getting Globalized? The Size and Implications of Intra-national Trade Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 10759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Daron Acemoglu & Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2015. "Offshoring and Directed Technical Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 84-122, July.
    18. Lawrence Edwards & Rhys Jenkins, 2015. "The Impact of Chinese Import Penetration on the South African Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 447-463, April.
    19. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2011. "Offshoring Jobs? Multinationals and U.S. Manufacturing Employment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 857-875, August.
    20. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "What's So Special about China's Exports?," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(5), pages 1-19.
    21. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
    22. Peter K. Schott, 2008. "The relative sophistication of Chinese exports," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 5-49, January.
    23. Remi Jedwab & Alexander Moradi, 2016. "The Permanent Effects of Transportation Revolutions in Poor Countries: Evidence from Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 268-284, May.
    24. Christian Volpe Martincus & Juan S. Blyde, 2012. "Shaky Roads and Trembling Exports: Assessing the Trade Effects of Domestic Infrastructure Using a Natural Experiment," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4650, Inter-American Development Bank.
    25. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1998. "The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 693-732.
    26. A. Kerem Co?ar & Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2016. "Internal Geography, International Trade, and Regional Specialization," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 24-56, February.
    27. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-level Productivity…For Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099.
    28. Adam Storeygard, 2016. "Farther on down the Road: Transport Costs, Trade and Urban Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1263-1295.
    29. Mion, Giordano & Zhu, Linke, 2013. "Import competition from and offshoring to China: A curse or blessing for firms?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 202-215.
    30. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Survival of the best fit: Exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 219-237, January.
    31. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
    32. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-623, June.
    33. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    34. Admasu Shiferaw & Måns Söderbom & Eyerusalem Siba & Getnet Alemu, 2015. "Road Infrastructure and Enterprise Dynamics in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(11), pages 1541-1558, November.
    35. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    36. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "What’s So Special about China’s Exports?," Working Papers id:410, eSocialSciences.
    37. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
    38. Santiso, Javier & Blázquez, Jorge & Rodríguez, Javier, 2006. "Angel or demon?: China's trade impact on Latin American countries," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    39. Jorge Blázquez-Lidoy & Javier Rodríguez & Javier Santiso, 2006. "Angel or Devil? China's Trade Impact on Latin American Emerging Markets," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 252, OECD Publishing.
    40. Petia Topalova & Amit Khandelwal, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity: The Case of India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 995-1009, August.
    41. Álvarez, Roberto & Claro, Sebastián, 2009. "David Versus Goliath: The Impact of Chinese Competition on Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 560-571, March.
    42. Gollin, Douglas & Rogerson, Richard, 2014. "Productivity, transport costs and subsistence agriculture," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 38-48.
    43. Herrera Dappe,Matias & Jooste,Charl & Suarez Aleman,Ancor, 2017. "How does port efficiency affect maritime transport costs and trade ? evidence from Indian and western Pacific Ocean countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8204, The World Bank.
    44. Edwards, Lawrence & Jenkins, Rhys, 2014. "The margins of export competition: A new approach to evaluating the impact of China on South African exports to Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(S1), pages 132-150.
    45. Minten, Bart & Kyle, Steven, 1999. "The effect of distance and road quality on food collection, marketing margins, and traders' wages: evidence from the former Zaire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 467-495, December.
    46. Shawn Klimek & James Schmitz & Timothy Dunne, 2008. "Does Competition Spur Productivity? Evidence From U.S.Cement Manufacturing in the 20th Century," 2008 Meeting Papers 784, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    47. Kaplinsky, Raphael & Morris, Mike, 2008. "Do the Asian Drivers Undermine Export-oriented Industrialization in SSA," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 254-273, February.
    48. Vicente Donoso & Víctor Martín & Asier Minondo, 2015. "Do Differences in the Exposure to Chinese Imports Lead to Differences in Local Labour Market Outcomes? An Analysis for Spanish Provinces," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(10), pages 1746-1764, October.
    49. repec:taf:ctwqxx:v:29:y:2008:i:1:p:89-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    50. Tomas Havranek & Zuzana Irsova, 2017. "Do Borders Really Slash Trade? A Meta-Analysis," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 65(2), pages 365-396, June.
    51. Volpe Martincus, Christian & Blyde, Juan, 2013. "Shaky roads and trembling exports: Assessing the trade effects of domestic infrastructure using a natural experiment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 148-161.
    52. Vivek Arora & Athanasios Vamvakidis, 2005. "How Much Do Trading Partners Matter for Economic Growth?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(1), pages 24-40, April.
    53. repec:taf:jdevst:v:52:y:2016:i:7:p:986-1001 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Import Competition; Productivity Catch-up; Trade Infrastructure; Skills; Employment; Sub-Saharan Africa; China;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F61 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Microeconomic Impacts
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2018.14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/feemmit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.