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Does Trade Protection Improve Firm Productivity? Evidence from Philippine Micro Data

  • Aldaba, Rafaelita M.

The recent trade and productivity literature shows that trade liberalization can lead to productivity gains through increased competition and exit of inefficient firms and reallocation of market shares in favor of more efficient firms. In this paper, an attempt is made to examine the impact of trade liberalization on firm productivity in the Philippines. The country presents an interesting case due to its adoption of selective protection amidst an incomplete trade liberalization process. Based on an unbalanced firm-level panel dataset covering an eight-year period from 1996 to 2006, the results provide some evidence in support of the hypothesis that trade liberalization leads to productivity gains and conversely, protection leads to productivity losses. This is confirmed by the negative and significant coefficient on EPR for the purely importable sector. The results tend to indicate that the selective protection policy undermined the process of output restructuring and reshuffling of resources from less productive to more productive firms as protection of selected industries allowed the survival of inefficient firms.

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Paper provided by Philippine Institute for Development Studies in its series Discussion Papers with number DP 2010-32.

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Length: 60
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:phd:dpaper:dp_2010-32
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  1. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2004. "Trade, Technology, and Productivity: A Study of Brazilian Manufacturers, 1986-1998," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6m96c2r7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish, 1998. "Trade liberalization, market discipline and productivity growth: new evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 447-462, August.
  3. Epifani, Paolo, 2003. "Trade liberalization, firm performance, and labor market outcomes in the developing world : what can we learn from micro-level data?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3063, The World Bank.
  4. Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Giuseppe Iarossi & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Exports and Manufacturing Productivity in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis with Firm-Level Data," NBER Working Papers 8894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Satish Chand & Kunal Sen, 1996. "Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Indian Manufacturing," Departmental Working Papers 1996-11, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
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