Product quality, productive efficiency, and international technology diffusion : evidence from plant-level panel data
What mechanisms most frequently transmit foreign technologies to developing country firms? Do these foreign technologies affect both productive efficiency and product quality in the recipient firms? Under what circumstances do firms pursue activities that give them access to foreign knowledge? To address these questions, the authors develop a new methodology and apply the framework to plant-level panel data from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco. Their results point to several basic messages. First, by imposing enough structure on the production function and the demand system, it is possible to measure product quality and marginal costs at the plant level and to relate the evolution of these variables to firms'activity histories. Doing so, the authors find strong firm-level persistence in both quality and marginal costs. But in most industry or country panels that they study, past international activities help little in predicting current performance once past realizations on quality and marginal cost are controlled for. That is, activities do not typically Granger-cause performance. Interestingly, in the minority of cases where significant associations emerge, international activities appear to move costs and product quality in the same direction. So the net effect on profits in these cases is not immediately apparent. Second, several basic patterns emerge with respect to the determinants of international activities. Most fundamentally, activities are highly persistent, even after unobserved heterogeneity is controlled for. That suggests that firms incur sunk threshold costs when they initiate or cease activities, so temporary policy or macroeconomic shocks may have long-run effects on the patterns of activities observed in a particular country or industry. Also, activities tend to go together, so that studies that relate firms'performance to one international activity and ignore the others may generate misleading conclusions. But the bundling of activities seems to mainly reflect unobserved plant characteristics, such as managerial philosophy, contacts, product niche, and location. Once these are controlled for, there is little evidence that engaging in one international activity increases the probability that a firm will engage in others in the future.
|Date of creation:||31 Jan 2002|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
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.:
- James R. Tybout, 2000.
"Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
- Tybout, James, 1998. "Manufacuring firms in developing countries - how well do they do, and why?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1965, The World Bank.
- James Tybout, 1998. "Manufacturing Firms In Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, And Why?," Development and Comp Systems 9805004, EconWPA.
- James Tybout, 1999. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Development and Comp Systems 9906001, EconWPA, revised 10 Jun 1999.
- Keller, Wolfgang, 2000. "Do Trade Patterns and Technology Flows Affect Productivity Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 17-47, January.
- Keller, Wolfgang, 1997. "How trade patterns and technology flows affect productivity growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1831, The World Bank.
- Wolfgang Keller, 1999. "How Trade Patterns and Technology Flows Affect Productivity Growth," NBER Working Papers 6990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1996. "Trade in ideas Patenting and productivity in the OECD," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 251-278, May.
- Eaton, J. & Kortum, S., 1995. "Trade in Ideas: Patenting and Productivity onn the OECD," Papers 34, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Samuel Kortum & Jonathan Eaton, 1995. "Trade in ideas: patenting and productivity in the OECD," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-9, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 1995. "Trade in Ideas: Patenting and Productivity in the OECD," NBER Working Papers 5049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
- Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
- Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Coe, D.T. & Helpman, E., 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," Papers 5-93, Tel Aviv.
- David T. Coe & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Keane, Michael P, 1992. "A Note on Identification in the Multinomial Probit Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(2), pages 193-200, April.
- Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Jean Habarurema & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Måns Söderbom & Francis, 2000. "Exports and firm-level efficiency in African manufacturing," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Bigsten, A. & Collier, P. & Dercon, S., 2000. "Exports and Firm-Level Efficiency in African Manufacturing," Papers 2000-04, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Montreal-.
- 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.
- John F. Geweke & Michael P. Keane & David E. Runkle, 1994. "Statistical inference in the multinomial multiperiod probit model," Staff Report 177, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Elhanan Helpman & David T. Coe, 1993. "International RandD Spillovers," IMF Working Papers 93/84, International Monetary Fund.
- Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1995. "Trade liberalization and the dimensions of efficiency change in Mexican manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 53-78, August.
- Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
- Haddad, Mona & Harrison, Ann, 1993. "Are there positive spillovers from direct foreign investment? : Evidence from panel data for Morocco," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 51-74, October.
- Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82.
- 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 545-564, September.
- Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Knetter, Michael M., 1999. "Measuring the intensity of competition in export markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 27-60, February.
- Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1995. "Measuring the Intensity of Competition in Export Markets," NBER Working Papers 5226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-528, June.
- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2759. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.