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Tariff reductions and labor demand elasticities : evidence from Chinese firm-level data

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  • Sato, Hitoshi
  • Zhu, Lianming

Abstract

International production fragmentation has been a global trend for decades, becoming especially important in Asia where the manufacturing process is fragmented into stages and dispersed around the region. This paper examines the effects of input and output tariff reductions on labor demand elasticities at the firm level. For this purpose, we consider a simple heterogenous firm model in which firms are allowed to export their products and to use imported intermediate inputs. The model predicts that only productive firms can use imported intermediate inputs (outsourcing) and tend to have larger constant-output labor demand elasticities. Input tariff reductions would lower the factor shares of labor for these productive firms and raise conditional labor demand elasticities further. We test these empirical predictions, constructing Chinese firm-level panel data over the 2000--2006 period. Controlling for potential tariff endogeneity by instruments, our empirical studies generally support these predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sato, Hitoshi & Zhu, Lianming, 2014. "Tariff reductions and labor demand elasticities : evidence from Chinese firm-level data," IDE Discussion Papers 463, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper463
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact of Outsourcing and High-Technology Capital on Wages: Estimates For the United States, 1979–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940.
    2. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish & Chinoy, Sajjid, 2001. "Trade liberalization and labor demand elasticities: evidence from Turkey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 391-409, December.
    3. Chiquiar, Daniel, 2008. "Globalization, regional wage differentials and the Stolper-Samuelson Theorem: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 70-93.
    4. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Daniele Checchi & Alessandro Turrini, 2003. "Adjusting Labor Demand: Multinational Versus National Firms: A Cross-European Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 708-719, 04/05.
    5. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "International trade and labor-demand elasticities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 27-56, June.
    6. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Lapham, Beverly, 2013. "Productivity and the decision to import and export: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 297-316.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Senses, Mine Zeynep, 2010. "The effects of offshoring on the elasticity of labor demand," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 89-98, May.
    10. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Tariff; International trade; Labor market; Labor demand elasticities; Tariff reductions; Intermediate inputs;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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