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Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence

This paper examines whether importing intermediate goods improves plant performance. While addressing the issue of simultaneity of a productivity shock and the decision to import intermediates, we estimate the impact of the use of foreign intermediates on plants' productivity using plant-level Chilean manufacturing panel data. We found that switching from being a non- importer to being an importer of foreign intermediates can improve productivity by 2.3 to 22.0 percent. We also investigate the plant dynamic decisions to import, invest, and exit. The results show that having imported last year substantially increases the probability of importing this year, providing the evidence for sunk start-up costs of importing. We also found that importers accumulate more capital and are less likely to exit than non-importers, which indicates that importing intermediates may play an important role in reallocating resources across heterogeneous plants.

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File URL: http://economics.uwo.ca/epri/workingpapers_docs/wp2005/Kasahara_07.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute in its series University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers with number 20057.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20057
Contact details of provider: Postal: Economic Policy Research Institute, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/epri_workingpapers.html

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  1. Hiroyuki Kasahara & Beverly Lapham, 2008. "Productivity and the Decision to Import and Export: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2240, CESifo Group Munich.
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  4. 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.
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  15. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis & McFadden, Daniel & Ruud, Paul, 1996. "Simulation of multivariate normal rectangle probabilities and their derivatives theoretical and computational results," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 85-134.
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  17. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  18. Amiti, Mary & Konings, Jozef, 2005. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," CEPR Discussion Papers 5104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2008. "The Sensitivity of Productivity Estimates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 311-328.
  20. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
  21. Geweke, John F. & Keane, Michael P. & Runkle, David E., 1997. "Statistical inference in the multinomial multiperiod probit model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 125-165, September.
  22. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Pavcnik, Nina, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvement: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 245-76, January.
  24. Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan & Hoffmaister, Alexander W, 1997. "North-South R&D Spillovers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 134-49, January.
  25. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Laszlo Halpern & Miklos Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Import and Productivity," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0509, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  27. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  28. Feenstra, Robert C & Markusen, James R & Zeile, William, 1992. "Accounting for Growth with New Inputs: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 415-21, May.
  29. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  30. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  31. Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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