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Changing Trade Barriers and Canadian Firms: Survival and Exit After the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

  • Baggs, Jennifer

This paper considers the implications of changing trade barriers on the survival of Canadian manufacturing firms. A segmented market Cournot model was developed to describe the effects of trade liberalization for heterogeneous firms operating in diverse industries. The predictions of this model are tested empirically using firm-level data for both public and private corporations and tariff rates for both Canada and the United States. Our findings suggest that Canadian tariff reductions decreased the probability of the survival of Canadian firms while declines in American tariffs increased the probability. Combining these two effects, firms in two-thirds of Canadian manufacturing industries saw their probability of survival increase as a result of the tariff reductions mandated by the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. However, the sensitivity of individual firms to tariff changes was mitigated by the characteristics of those firms. In particular, productivity and leverage played substantial roles in determining a firm's vulnerability to failure as a result of trade liberalization.

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Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2004205e.

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Date of creation: 28 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2004205e
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  1. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
  2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2006. "Plant turnover and productivity growth in Canadian manufacturing," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 417-465, June.
  4. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 41, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
  6. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  7. Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Survival of the Fittest or the Fattest? Exit and Financing in the Trucking Industry," NBER Working Papers 6273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2001. "Who Dies? International Trade, Market Structure, and Industrial Restructuring," NBER Working Papers 8327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cox, David & Harris, Richard, 1985. "Trade Liberalization and Industrial Organization: Some Estimates for Canada," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 115-45, February.
  10. Wulong Gu & Gary Sawchuk & Lori Rennison, 2003. "The effect of tariff reductions on firm size and firm turnover in canadian manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 440-459, September.
  11. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1991. "R&D and Productivity Growth: Comparing Japanese and U.S. Manufacturing Firms," NBER Chapters, in: Productivity Growth in Japan and the United States, pages 317-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Anita M. McGahan & Michael E. Porter, 1999. "The Persistence of Shocks to Profitability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 143-153, February.
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