IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Productivity Matters for Trade Policy: Theory and Evidence

  • Baybars Karacaovali

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

There is a growing literature where authors investigate the effect of trade liberalization on productivity. Nearly all such studies assume that trade policy is determined independently of productivity, hence it is exogenous. I show, both theoretically and empirically, that this assumption is not valid in general and that researchers may be underestimating the positive effect of liberalization on productivity when they do not account for the endogeneity bias. More productive sectors receive more protection and the sectors with a higher productivity gain are liberalized less even in the presence of a large unilateral liberalization shock that affects all sectors.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Fordham University, Department of Economics in its series Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series with number dp2008-14.

in new window

Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2008-14
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
  2. Amiti, Mary & Konings, Jozef, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," CEPR Discussion Papers 5104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Cragg, John G, 1983. "More Efficient Estimation in the Presence of Heteroscedasticity of Unknown Form," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 751-63, May.
  4. Harrison, Ann, 1996. "Openness and growth: A time-series, cross-country analysis for developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 419-447, March.
  5. John Shea, 1996. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," NBER Technical Working Papers 0193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eslava, Marcela & Haltiwanger, John & Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2004. "The effects of structural reforms on productivity and profitabality enhancing reallocation: evidence from Colombia," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0408, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  7. Adriana Schor, 2004. "Heterogeneous Productivity Response to Tariff Reduction: Evidence from Brazilian Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 10544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Hiau Looi Kee & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import demand elasticities and trade distortions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3452, The World Bank.
  10. Karacaovali, Baybars & Limão, Nuno, 2008. "The clash of liberalizations: Preferential vs. multilateral trade liberalization in the European Union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 299-327, March.
  11. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  12. Edwards, Sebastian, 1997. "Trade Liberalization Reforms and the World Bank," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 43-48, May.
  13. Gene M. Grossman & Henrik Horn, 1987. "Infant-Industry Protection Reconsidered: The Case of Informational Barriers to Entry," NBER Working Papers 2159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Technology and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1134, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Pravin Krishna & Devashish Mitra, . "Trade Liberalization, Market Discipline and Productivity Growth: New Evidence From India," Working Papers 96-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  16. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Richard E. Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Entry and Asymmetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 1064-1093, 09.
  18. 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.
  19. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-47, February.
  21. Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2004. "Trade, Technology, and Productivity: A Study of Brazilian Manufacturers, 1986-1998," CESifo Working Paper Series 1148, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Patricia Tovar, 2004. "The Effects of Loss Aversion on Trade Policy and the Anti-Trade Bias Puzzle," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 499, Econometric Society.
  23. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1995. "Trade liberalization and the dimensions of efficiency change in Mexican manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 53-78, August.
  25. Ana Fernandes, 2002. "Trade Policy, Trade Volumes and Plant-Level Productivity in Colombian Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 847, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  26. Marquez, Jaime, 1990. "Bilateral Trade Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(1), pages 70-77, February.
  27. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Devashish Mitra & Dimitrios D. Thomakos & Mehmet A. Ulubaşoglu, 2002. ""Protection For Sale" In A Developing Country: Democracy Vs. Dictatorship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 497-508, August.
  29. Cavalcanti Ferreira, Pedro & Facchini, Giovanni, 2005. "Trade liberalization and industrial concentration: Evidence from Brazil," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 432-446, May.
  30. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & JosÈ Luiz Rossi, 2003. "New Evidence from Brazil on Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1383-1405, November.
  31. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
  32. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  33. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
  34. Marcela Meléndez & Katja Seim & Pablo Medina, 2003. "Productivity Dynamics Of The Colombian Manufacturing Sector," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003390, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  35. Krueger, Anne O & Tuncer, Baran, 1982. "An Empirical Test of the Infant Industry Argument," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1142-52, December.
  36. Fernandes, Ana M., 2003. "Trade policy, trade volumes, and plant-level productivity in Colombian manufacturing industries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3064, The World Bank.
  37. Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2007. "Trade, Production, and Protection Database, 1976--2004," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 165-171.
  38. Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2001. "Trade and production, 1976-99," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2701, The World Bank.
  39. Pack, Howard, 1988. "Industrialization and trade," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 333-380 Elsevier.
  40. Richard E. Caves, 1976. "Economic Models of Political Choice: Canada's Tariff Structure," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 9(2), pages 278-300, May.
  41. Quintero Luis Eduardo, 2006. "The Politics of Market Selection," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, June.
  42. Marvel, Howard P & Ray, Edward J, 1983. "The Kennedy Round: Evidence on the Regulation of International Trade in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 190-97, March.
  43. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2003. "Long-run supply effects and the elasticities approach to trade," International Finance Discussion Papers 754, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  44. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2008-14. 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: (Fordham Economics)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.