Imports "R" Us: Retail Chains as Platforms for Developing-Country Imports
Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us, and other large retail chains are often identified with cheap imports. We use data from the Census of Retail Trade and the International Trade Commission over the period 1997-2002 to test whether big chains serve as platforms for imports from LDCs. Using difference-in-difference specifications we show that Chinese and other LDC imports have increased disproportionately in retail sectors with the sharpest consolidation into chains. To quantify the importance of chain growth to import growth we apply a numerical algorithm that generates marginal propensities to import by firm size. The largest retail firms' propensity to import from China is 17 percentage points higher than that of smaller retailers; the corresponding difference in import propensities from LDCs as a whole is 27 points. The disproportionate growth of large retailers between 1997 and 2002 explains 5% of the overall growth in consumer goods imports, 20% of the growth in consumer goods imports from China, and 22% of the growth in consumer goods imports from LDCs..
|Date of creation:||23 Apr 2008|
|Date of revision:||12 Aug 2008|
|Publication status:||published in American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings) 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (573) 882-0063
Fax: (573) 882-2697
Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John Romalis, 2005.
"NAFTA's and CUSFTA's Impact on International Trade,"
NBER Working Papers
11059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Romalis, 2007. "NAFTA's and CUSFTA's Impact on International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 416-435, August.
- Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
- Carolyn L. Evans & James Harrigan, 2005. "Distance, Time, and Specialization: Lean Retailing in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 292-313, March.
- Emek Basker & Pham Hoang Van, 2007.
"Wal-Mart as Catalyst to U.S.-China Trade,"
0710, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
- Mark Doms & Ron Jarmin & Shawn Klimek, 2004. "Information technology investment and firm performance in US retail trade," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(7), pages 595-613.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0804. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Valerie Kulp)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.