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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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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. Lileeva, Alla, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Productivity Dynamics: Evidence from Canada," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2008051e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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  10. 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.
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  19. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-Product Versus Within-Product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 647-678.
  21. 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.
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