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FDI Spillovers and Industrial Policy: The Role of Tariffs and Tax Holidays

  • Luosha Du
  • Ann Harrison
  • Gary Jefferson

This paper examines how industrial policy - specifically tariff liberalization and tax subsidies - affects the magnitude and direction of FDI spillovers. We examine these spillover effects across the diverse ownership structure of China's manufacturing sector. Using this approach, we control for policies that are likely to be correlated with both firm-level productivity and industry FDI, thereby limiting the problem of omitted variables and bias associated with estimating the impacts of FDI spillovers. During 1998-2007, the span of our Chinese firm-level data set, both tariffs and FDI tax holidays changed dramatically. Our results highlight the efficacy of vertical FDI spillovers. We find that tariff reforms, particularly tariff reductions associated with China's WTO ascension, increased the productivity impacts of FDI's backward spillovers. Tax policy - both corporate income and VAT subsidies - has seemingly drawn FDI into strategic industries that spawn significant vertical spillovers. We conclude that liberalization measures during the critical 1998-2007 period on balance served to enhance productivity growth in Chinese industry.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16767.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Publication status: published as Du, Luosha & Harrison, Ann & Jefferson, Gary, 2014. "FDI Spillovers and Industrial Policy: The Role of Tariffs and Tax Holidays," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 366-383.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16767
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  1. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Haddad, Mona & Harrison, Ann, 1993. "Are there positive spillovers from direct foreign investment? : Evidence from panel data for Morocco," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 51-74, October.
  3. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 12885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Petia Topalova & Nina Pavcnik & Amit Khandelwal & Penny Goldberg, 2009. "Multi-product Firms and Product Turnover in the Developing World: Evidence from India," 2009 Meeting Papers 176, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The long and short of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6721, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  7. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  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. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767, November.
  10. Aitken, B. & Harrison, A. & Lipsey, R.E., 1995. "Wages and Foreign Ownership: A Comparative Study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Papers 95-21, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  11. Ann E. Harrison & Leslie A. Martin & Shanthi Nataraj, 2011. "Learning Versus Stealing: How Important are Market-Share Reallocations to India's Productivity Growth?," NBER Working Papers 16733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Du, Liqun & Harrison, Ann & Legros, Patrick, 2011. "Industrial Policy and Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 8619, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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.
  15. Beata K. Smarzynska, 2003. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 548, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  16. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
  17. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade liberalization, exports and technology upgrading: Evidence on the impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean firms," Economics Working Papers 1173, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Lin, Justin Yifu & Monga, Celestin, 2011. "Growth identification and facilitation : the role of the state in the dynamics of structural change," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5313, The World Bank.
  19. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2008. "Welfare gains from Foreign Direct Investment through technology transfer to local suppliers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 402-421, March.
  20. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521514521 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Nataraj, Shanthi, 2011. "The impact of trade liberalization on productivity: Evidence from India's formal and informal manufacturing sectors," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 292-301.
  22. Steven Globerman, 1979. "Foreign Direct Investment and `Spillover' Efficiency Benefits in Canadian Manufacturing Industries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 12(1), pages 42-56, February.
  23. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  24. Barry Naughton, 1996. "China's Emergence and Prospects as a Trading Nation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 273-344.
  25. Ann Harrison & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2009. "Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy for Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 15261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, June.
  27. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Wang, Luhang & Zhang, Yifan, 2012. "WTO Accession and Performance of Chinese Manufacturing Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 9166, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Lin, Ping & Liu, Zhuomin & Zhang, Yifan, 2009. "Do Chinese domestic firms benefit from FDI inflow?: Evidence of horizontal and vertical spillovers," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 677-691, December.
  29. Gary H. Jefferson & Miao Ouyang, 2014. "FDI spillovers in China: why do the research findings differ so much?," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, February.
  30. Brecher, Richard A. & Diaz Alejandro, Carlos F., 1977. "Tariffs, foreign capital and immiserizing growth," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 317-322, November.
  31. Albert G. Z. Hu & Gary H. Jefferson, 2002. "FDI Impact and Spillover: Evidence from China's Electronic and Textile Industries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(8), pages 1063-1076, 08.
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