IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hku/wpaper/201746.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the Relationship Between Quality and Productivity: Evidence from China's Accession to the WTO

Author

Listed:
  • Haichao Fan

    () (Institute of World Economy, School of Economics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China)

  • Yao Amber Li

    () (Division of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Research Affiliate of the China Research and Policy Group at University of Western Ontario)

  • Stephen R. Yeaple

    () (Department of Economics, Pennsylvania State University
    Research Associate at National Bureau of Economic Research
    Research Affiliate at Ifo Institute)

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the effect of China’s entry into the WTO on the quality choices of Chinese exporters in terms of their outputs and their inputs. Using highly disaggregated firm-level data, we show that the quality upgrading made possible by China’s tariff reductions was concentrated in the least productive Chinese exporters. These firms, which had been laggards in terms of quality prior to the tariff reduction, were the most aggressive in increasing the quality of their exports and their inputs and in redirecting their exports towards high income markets where demand for high quality goods is strong. Our empirical results are consistent with a simple model featuring scale effect and non-Hicks’ neutral productivity that disproportionately affects the efficiency with which firms use intermediate inputs. This latter feature does not appear in workhorse models of firm heterogeneity and endogenous quality choice which provide a distorted view of the impact of trade liberalization on quality upgrading.

Suggested Citation

  • Haichao Fan & Yao Amber Li & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2017. "On the Relationship Between Quality and Productivity: Evidence from China's Accession to the WTO," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2017-46, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Oct 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:hku:wpaper:201746
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://iems.ust.hk/assets/publications/working-papers-2017/iemswp2017-46.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 241-275, May.
    2. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2016. "How firms export: Processing vs. ordinary trade with financial frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 120-137.
    3. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Khan, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Post-Print hal-01297202, HAL.
    4. Feng, Ling & Li, Zhiyuan & Swenson, Deborah L., 2016. "The connection between imported intermediate inputs and exports: Evidence from Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 86-101.
    5. Fan, Haichao & Lai, Edwin L.-C. & Li, Yao Amber, 2015. "Credit constraints, quality, and export prices: Theory and evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 390-416.
    6. Brian McCaig & Nina Pavcnik, 2014. "Export Markets and Labor Allocation in a Low-income Country," NBER Working Papers 20455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Brian McCaig & Nina Pavcnik, 2015. "Informal Employment in a Growing and Globalizing Low-Income Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 545-550, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Arpita Chatterjee & Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Jade Vichyanond, 2013. "Multi-product Firms and Exchange Rate Fluctuations," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 77-110, May.
    10. Pol Antràs & Teresa C. Fort & Felix Tintelnot, 2014. "The Margins of Global Sourcing: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Firms," NBER Working Papers 20772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Haichao Fan & Yao Amber Li & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2015. "Trade Liberalization, Quality, and Export Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1033-1051, December.
    12. Jiandong Ju & Kang Shi & Shang-Jin Wei, 2012. "Trade Reforms and Current Account Imbalances: When Does the General Equilibrium Effect Overturn a Partial Equilibrium Intuition?," NBER Working Papers 18653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Yifan, 2012. "Creative accounting or creative destruction? Firm-level productivity growth in Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 339-351.
    14. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:9:p:2514-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Khan, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01297202, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bee Yan Aw & Yi Lee & Hylke Vandenbussche, 2018. "Decomposing firm-product appeal:How important is consumer taste ?," Working Paper Research 337, National Bank of Belgium.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

    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:hku:wpaper:201746. 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: (Carla Chan). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ieusthk.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.