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Learning versus Stealing: How Important are Market-Share Reallocations to India's Productivity Growth

  • Ann E. Harrison
  • Leslie A. Martin
  • Shanthi Nataraj

The new trade theory emphasizes the role of market-share reallocations across firms (ÒstealingÓ) in driving productivity growth, while the older literature focused on average productivity improvements (ÒlearningÓ). The authors use comprehensive, firm-level data from IndiaÕs organized manufacturing sector to show that market-share reallocations did play an important role in aggregate productivity gains immediately following the start of IndiaÕs trade reforms in 1991. However, aggregate productivity gains during the overall 20-year period from 1985 to 2004 were driven largely by improvements in average productivity. By exploiting the variation in reforms across industries, they document that the average productivity increases can be attributed to IndiaÕs trade liberalization and FDI reforms. Finally, they construct a panel dataset that allows them to track firms during this time period; their results suggest that while within-firm productivity improvements were important, much of the increase in average productivity also occurred because of firm entry and exit.

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Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 832.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:832
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  1. 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.
  2. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2007. "Labor Reallocation in Response to Trade Reform," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt3cm38535, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  3. 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.
  4. Rana Hasan & Devashish Mitra & K.V. Ramaswamy, 2003. "Trade Reforms, Labor Regulations and Labor-Demand Elasticities: Empirical Evidence from India," Economics Study Area Working Papers 59, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  5. 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.
  6. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity; Evidence From Indonesia," IMF Working Papers 05/146, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," NBER Working Papers 14610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  10. 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.
  11. Antoine Berthou & Lionel Fontagné, 2013. "How do Multiproduct Exporters React to a Change in Trade Costs?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 326-353, 04.
  12. Sivadasan Jagadeesh, 2009. "Barriers to Competition and Productivity: Evidence from India," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-66, September.
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