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Trade Liberalisation, Exit, and Output and Employment Adjustments of Australian Manufacturing Establishments

  • Alfons Palangkaraya

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Jongsay Yong

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

We use unpublished establishment level data of Australian manufacturing from 1993-94 and 1996-97 censuses to study how trade liberalisation affects productivity. More specifically, we use the variation in the extent of trade liberalisation across four digit ANZSIC manufacturing industries classification to identify the link between trade liberalisation and three outcomes: establishments’ probability of exit, the change in the size of output and the change in employment. There is weak evidence that establishments in industries with greater reductions in effective rate of assistance are more likely to exit. We find strong evidence that they reduce employment. There is no evidence for economies of scale through output expansion. Together these indicate that the documented productivity gains of trade liberalisation may come more from the pro-competitive effects which forces establishments to reduce their slackness rather than from the exit of less efficient establishments.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2007n16.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2007n16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/Email:


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  1. 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.
  2. Fernandes, Ana M., 2007. "Trade policy, trade volumes and plant-level productivity in Colombian manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 52-71, March.
  3. Gibson, John K & Harris, Richard I D, 1996. "Trade Liberalisation and Plant Exit in New Zealand Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 521-29, August.
  4. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  7. Holmes, Thomas J. & Jr., James A. Schmitz, 2001. "A gain from trade: From unproductive to productive entrepreneurship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 417-446, April.
  8. 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.
  9. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2002. "The Deaths of Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 9026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Cox, David & Harris, Richard, 1985. "Trade Liberalization and Industrial Organization: Some Estimates for Canada," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 115-45, February.
  12. Edward Oczkowski & Kishor Sharma, 2001. "Imperfect Competition, Returns To Scale and Productivity Growth In Australian Manufacturing: A Smooth Transition Approach To Trade Liberalisation," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 99-113, June.
  13. James R. Tybout, 2000. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
  14. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-98, November.
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  17. Dierickx, I. & Matutes, C. & Neven, D., 1991. "Cost differences and survival in declining industries : A case for 'picking winners'?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1507-1528, December.
  18. Chand, Satish, 1999. "Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth: Time-Series Evidence from Australian Manufacturing," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(228), pages 28-36, March.
  19. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Ana Fernandes, 2002. "Trade Policy, Trade Volumes and Plant-Level Productivity in Colombian Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 847, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  21. Jen Baggs, 2005. "Firm survival and exit in response to trade liberalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1364-1383, November.
  22. Harry Bloch & James Ted McDonald, 2000. "Import Competition and Labour Productivity," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2000n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  23. Gaston, Noel, 1998. "The Impact of International Trade and Protection on Australian Manufacturing Employment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 119-36, June.
  24. Bee Yan Aw & Xiaomin Chen & Mark J. Roberts, 1997. "Firm-level Evidence on Productivity Differentials, Turnover, and Exports in Taiwanese Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 6235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Adriana Schor, 2004. "Heterogeneous Productivity Response to Tariff Reduction: Evidence from Brazilian Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 10544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Dani Rodrik, 1988. "Imperfect Competition, Scale Economies, and Trade Policy in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Trade Policy Issues and Empirical Analysis, pages 109-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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