IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/unm/unumer/2019003.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What gains and distributional implications result from trade liberalization?

Author

Listed:
  • Bas, Maria

    () (University of Paris 1, Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES))

  • Paunov, Caroline

    () (OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation)

Abstract

This paper investigates the distributional impacts of trade liberalization across firms, consumers and workers. Using firm-product-level census data for Ecuador, we exploit exogenous tariff changes at entry to the World Trade Organization. We show that with input tariff cuts firms access higher quality and new input varieties. Consequently, firms increase their product scope and quality, while their production’s skill-intensity increases and costs decrease. “Real” productivity (TFPQ) increases only in the medium run, following adjustments to produce more and higher quality products. Positive immediate revenue productivity (TFPR) gains result because firms’ markups increase. Consumers still gain as quality-adjusted prices decrease and varieties increase. Workers benefit differentially: skilled workers’ wages rise compared to less skilled workers’ wages. Input-tariff liberalization also has distributional impacts across firms. Only more productive firms with high markups increase product scope and quality and gain market shares. With output-trade liberalization the least productive firms decrease their product scope.

Suggested Citation

  • Bas, Maria & Paunov, Caroline, 2019. "What gains and distributional implications result from trade liberalization?," MERIT Working Papers 003, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2019003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2019/wp2019-003.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bee Yan Aw & Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu, 2011. "R&D Investment, Exporting, and Productivity Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1312-1344, June.
    2. Fan, Haichao & Li, Yao Amber & Yeaple, Stephen R., 2018. "On the relationship between quality and productivity: Evidence from China's accession to the WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 28-49.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: an Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728.
    4. Amiti, Mary & Cameron, Lisa, 2012. "Trade Liberalization and the Wage Skill Premium: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 277-287.
    5. Feng, Ling & Li, Zhiyuan & Swenson, Deborah L., 2016. "The connection between imported intermediate inputs and exports: Evidence from Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 86-101.
    6. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    7. Christian Broda & Joshua Greenfield & David Weinstein, 2006. "From Groundnuts to Globalization: A Structural Estimate of Trade and Growth," NBER Working Papers 12512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Eslava, Marcela & Haltiwanger, John & Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2004. "The effects of structural reforms on productivity and profitability enhancing reallocation: evidence from Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 333-371, December.
    9. repec:clu:wpaper:0708-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2012. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 379-436.
    11. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
    12. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    13. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit K. Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik, 2016. "Prices, Markups, and Trade Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 445-510, March.
    14. repec:eee:inecon:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:116-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Fernandes, Ana M., 2007. "Trade policy, trade volumes and plant-level productivity in Colombian manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 52-71, March.
    16. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 2003. "Productivity, output, and failure: a comparison of taiwanese and korean manufacturers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages 485-510, November.
    17. Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2017. "Multi-product firms and product quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 116-137.
    18. Bas, Maria, 2012. "Input-trade liberalization and firm export decisions: Evidence from Argentina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 481-493.
    19. Mayer, Thierry & Melitz, Marc J. & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P., 2016. "Product mix and firm productivity responses to trade competition," CFS Working Paper Series 562, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    20. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    21. Haichao Fan & Yao Amber Li & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2015. "Trade Liberalization, Quality, and Export Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1033-1051, December.
    22. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2013. "Product and process productivity: Implications for quality choice and conditional exporter premia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 53-67.
    23. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-level Productivity…For Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099.
    24. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
    25. Maria Bas & Antoine Berthou, 2017. "Does Input-Trade Liberalization Affect Firms’ Foreign Technology Choice?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(2), pages 351-384.
    26. Jan De Loecker, 2011. "Product Differentiation, Multiproduct Firms, and Estimating the Impact of Trade Liberalization on Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1407-1451, September.
    27. Schor, Adriana, 2004. "Heterogeneous productivity response to tariff reduction. Evidence from Brazilian manufacturing firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 373-396, December.
    28. Philippe Aghion & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt & Susanne Prantl, 2009. "The Effects of Entry on Incumbent Innovation and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 20-32, February.
    29. Eckel, Carsten & Iacovone, Leonardo & Javorcik, Beata & Neary, J. Peter, 2015. "Multi-product firms at home and away: Cost- versus quality-based competence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 216-232.
    30. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
    31. Amit K. Khandelwal & Peter K. Schott & Shang-Jin Wei, 2013. "Trade Liberalization and Embedded Institutional Reform: Evidence from Chinese Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2169-2195, October.
    32. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
    33. Maria Bas, 2012. "Input-trade liberalization and firm export decisions: Evidence from Argentina," Post-Print hal-01297739, HAL.
    34. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
    35. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-468, November.
    36. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
    37. Maria Bas, 2012. "Input-trade liberalization and firm export decisions: Evidence from Argentina," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01297739, HAL.
    38. Antoniades, Alexis, 2015. "Heterogeneous Firms, Quality, and Trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 263-273.
    39. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Multiproduct Firms and Trade Liberalization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1271-1318.
    40. Matthias Arnold, Jens & Javorcik, Beata S., 2009. "Gifted kids or pushy parents? Foreign direct investment and plant productivity in Indonesia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 42-53, September.
    41. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
    42. repec:eee:inecon:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:31-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    43. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
    44. Gita Gopinath & Brent Neiman, 2014. "Trade Adjustment and Productivity in Large Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 793-831, March.
    45. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Rodrigue, Joel, 2008. "Does the use of imported intermediates increase productivity? Plant-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 106-118, August.
    46. Bas, Maria & Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa, 2015. "Input-trade liberalization, export prices and quality upgrading," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 250-262.
    47. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
    48. Nathalie Greenan, 2003. "Organisational change, technology, employment and skills: an empirical study of French manufacturing," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 287-316, March.
    49. Mary Amiti & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2013. "Import Competition and Quality Upgrading," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 476-490, May.
    50. László Halpern & Miklós Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2015. "Imported Inputs and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3660-3703, December.
    51. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    52. Ana M. Fernandes & Caroline Paunov, 2013. "Does trade stimulate product quality upgrading?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1232-1264, November.
    53. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    54. Eslava, Marcela & Haltiwanger, John & Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2004. "The effects of structural reforms on productivity and profitabality enhancing reallocation: evidence from Colombia," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0408, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    55. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    56. Adriana Schor, 2004. "Heterogeneous Productivity Response to Tariff Reduction: Evidence from Brazilian Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 10544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    57. Mary Amiti & Donald R. Davis, 2012. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 1-36.
    58. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "Robustness Of Productivity Estimates," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 529-569, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gains from trade; input and output tariff reductions; product scope; product quality; market share; quantity and revenue total factor productivity; TFPQ; TFPR; skills premium; Ecuador;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2019003. 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: (Ad Notten). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/meritnl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.