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Adapting to Import Competition: Effects of Low-wage Trade on Commodity Mix in Canadian Manufacturing Plants

  • Lileeva, Alla
  • Baldwin, John R.

The paper investigates how Canadian manufacturing plants adjust to an increase in low-wage import competition by changing their commodity portfolios. At the commodity level, we distinguish between 'core' versus 'peripheral' and differentiated versus homogeneous commodities. We also account for cost and technological complementarities using input-output linkages between commodities produced by a plant. We document large commodity turnover within plants over the period from 1988 to 1996. The largest changes happened in multi-commodity plants and involved peripheral commodities. The commodities that were affected the most were those commodities that are potentially used as inputs in production of the 'core' commodity; homogeneous (rather than differentiated) commodities; and, commodities with relatively weak input complementarities with the core product. Plants experiencing large import competition shifted their output toward production of their core commodity and away from production of unrelated peripheral commodities.

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File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0027M2008054&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series with number 2008054e.

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Date of creation: 16 May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp5e:2008054e
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  1. Stephen J Redding & Peter K Schott & Andrew B Bernard, 2007. "Multi-product Firms and Trade Liberalization," 2007 Meeting Papers 44, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, October.
  4. John R. Baldwin & Richard E. Caves & Wulong Gu, 2005. "Responses to Trade Liberalization: Changes in Product Diversification in Foreign- and Domestic-Controlled Plants," Chapters, in: Governance, Multinationals and Growth, chapter 10 Edward Elgar.
  5. Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie, 1986. "A strategic approach to the product life cycle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 269-284, November.
  6. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
  7. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Survival of the best fit: Exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 219-237, January.
  8. Alla Lileeva, 2008. "Trade liberalization and productivity dynamics: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(2), pages 360-390, May.
  9. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2006. "The Impact of Trade on Plant Scale, Production-Run Length and Diversification," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2006038e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  10. Bernard, Andrew B. & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2003. "Product Choice and Product Switching," CEPR Discussion Papers 3959, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Antràs, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1995. "Some implications of growth for organizational form and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 440-455, April.
  14. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  16. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Endogenous Prduct Cycles," Papers 144, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  17. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The evolving external orientation of manufacturing: a profile of four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 53-81.
  18. 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.
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521810869 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie, 1987. "A Decision Theoretic Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 631-47, October.
  21. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
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  24. Aw, Bee Yan & Batra, Geeta & Roberts, Mark J., 2001. "Firm heterogeneity and export-domestic price differentials: A study of Taiwanese electronics products," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 149-169, June.
  25. Jen Baggs, 2005. "Firm survival and exit in response to trade liberalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1364-1383, November.
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