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Heterogeneous Productivity Response to Tariff Reduction: Evidence from Brazilian Manufacturing Firms

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  • Adriana Schor

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of trade liberalization on the evolution of firm productivity. The productivity of each firm was estimated using an unbalanced panel data of 4,484 Brazilian manufacturing firms from 1986 to 1998, following the procedure first proposed by Olley and Pakes (1996) and further developed by Levinsohn and Petrin (2003). First, the effect of nominal tariffs on firms' productivity levels is identified. After controlling for the endogeneity of nominal tariffs, the estimated coefficient for tariffs in the productivity equation turns out to be negative. Second, a measure of tariffs on inputs is added in the productivity equation. The coefficient associated with tariffs on inputs is also negative, and the inclusion of this new variable reduces the size of the estimated coefficient of nominal tariffs. Thus, it seems that, along with the increased competition, the new access to inputs that embody better foreign technology also contributes to productivity gains after trade liberalization. Third, it is shown that there is a huge degree of heterogeneity of responses to trade liberalization. The effect of the tariff reductions depends heavily on observed and unobserved characteristics of the firm.

Suggested Citation

  • Adriana Schor, 2004. "Heterogeneous Productivity Response to Tariff Reduction: Evidence from Brazilian Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 10544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10544
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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    5. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
    6. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
    7. 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.
    8. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti, 2000. "Monopoly power, trade protection and growth: cross industry evidence," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 381, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).
    9. 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.
    10. James R. Tybout, 2001. "Plant- and Firm-Level Evidence on "New" Trade Theories," NBER Working Papers 8418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Aw, Bee Yan & Chen, Xiaomin & Roberts, Mark J., 2001. "Firm-level evidence on productivity differentials and turnover in Taiwanese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 51-86, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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