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The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification

  • Gu, Wulong
  • Baldwin, John R.

This paper examines the effect of trade liberalization on plant scale, production-run length and product diversification. We first develop a model of trade in differentiated products with multi-product plants. We then present empirical evidence using a large panel of Canadian manufacturing plants and their experience with the 1989 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The model predicts that the bilateral tariff reduction reduces the product diversification of exporting plants, increases the production-run length and has an ambiguous effect on the size of those plants. It also reduces the product diversification and size of non-exporting plants, and has no effect on the production-run length of those plants. The empirical evidence on non-exporting plants provides broad support for the model. The evidence on exporting plants shows that exporters reduce product diversification, and increase production-run length and plant size, but those changes do not appear to be related to tariff cuts. Once in the export markets, plants respond to forces other than tariff cuts. Further tariff cuts have less effect on those plants.

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Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series with number 2006038e.

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Date of creation: 19 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp5e:2006038e
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  1. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
  2. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2002. "Market Size Matters," NBER Working Papers 9113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Baldwin,John R. & Gorecki,Paul, 1995. "The Dynamics of Industrial Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521465618.
  5. Baldwin, John R., 2004. "Trade Liberalization: Export-market Participation, Productivity Growth and Innovation," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2004027e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  6. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  8. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," IFS Working Papers W03/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Gu, Wulong & Caves, Richard & Baldwin, John R., 2005. "Responses to Trade Liberalization: Changes in Product Diversification in Foreign- and Domestic-controlled Plants," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2005031e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  11. Daniel Trefler, 2001. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 8293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 534-550, May.
  13. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  14. Rama, Ed & Sabourin, David & Baldwin, John R., 1999. "Growth of Advanced Technology Use in Canadian Manufacturing During the 1990's," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1999105e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  15. Harris, Richard, 1984. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-32, December.
  16. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2003. "Export-market participation and productivity performance in Canadian manufacturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 634-657, August.
  18. John R. Baldwin & Ron S. Jarmin & Jianmin Tang, 2004. "Small North American Producers Give Ground in the 1990s," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 349-361, November.
  19. Beckstead, Desmond & Caves, Richard & Baldwin, John R., 2002. "Changes in the Diversification of Canadian Manufacturing Firms and Plants (1973-1997): A Move to Specialization," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002179e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  20. Greenhut,Melvin L. & Norman,George & Hung,Chao-Shun, 1987. "The Economics of Imperfect Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521305525.
  21. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
  22. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2003. "Participation in Export Markets and Productivity Performance in Canadian Manufacturing," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2003011e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  23. Baldwin, John R. & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2002. "Productivity Growth in Canada," Productivity Growth in Canada, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis, number stcb6e, December.
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