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Trade liberalization, firm performance, and labor market outcomes in the developing world : what can we learn from micro-level data?

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  • Epifani, Paolo

Abstract

reviews the micro-level evidence on the effects of trade and investment liberalization in the developing world. He focuses, in particular, on the effects of the 1991 trade reform in India since it provides an excellent controlled experiment in which the effects of a drastic trade regime change can be measured. His main findings are: 1) There is evidence of trade-induced productivity gains (in this respect, however, India is an exception. 2) These gains mainly stem from intra-industry reallocation of resources among firms with different productivity levels. 3) The gains are larger in import-competing sectors. 4) There is no evidence of significant scale efficiency gains. Unilateral trade liberalization is often associated with a reduced scale efficiency. 5) There is evidence of a pro-competitive effect of trade liberalization. 6) There is no evidence either of learning-by-exporting effects or of beneficial spillover effects from foreign-owned to local firms active in the same sectors. 7) There is evidence, however, of positive vertical spillovers from foreign direct investment. 8) There is evidence of skill upgrading induced either by technology imports or by trade-induced reallocations of market shares in favor of plants with higher skill-intensity. 9) There is no evidence of trade-induced increases in labor demand elasticities. But direct evidence suggests that trade exposure raises wage volatility. 10) There isno evidence of substantial employment contraction in import-competing sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Epifani, Paolo, 2003. "Trade liberalization, firm performance, and labor market outcomes in the developing world : what can we learn from micro-level data?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3063, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3063
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    Cited by:

    1. Meschi, Elena & Vivarelli, Marco, 2007. "Globalization and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 2958, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:61:y:2010:i:12:d:10.1057_jors.2009.142 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sivadasan, Jagadeesh & Slemrod, Joel, 2008. "Tax law changes, income-shifting and measured wage inequality: Evidence from India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2199-2224, October.
    4. Sule Ozler & Kamil Yilmaz, 2009. "Productivity response to reduction in trade barriers: evidence from Turkish manufacturing plants," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(2), pages 339-360, July.
    5. Meschi, Elena & Taymaz, Erol & Vivarelli, Marco, 2011. "Trade, technology and skills: Evidence from Turkish microdata," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 60-70.
    6. Wong, Sara A., 2009. "Productivity and trade openness in Ecuador's manufacturing industries," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(9), pages 868-875, September.
    7. Petia Topalova & Amit Khandelwal, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity: The Case of India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 995-1009, August.
    8. Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "The middle income trap: a way out based on technological and structural change," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 159-193, August.
    9. Meschi, Elena & Vivarelli, Marco, 2009. "Trade and Income Inequality in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 287-302, February.
    10. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2004. "Employment regulations through the eyes of employers - do they matter and how do firms respond to them?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3463, The World Bank.
    11. Marco Vivarelli, 2015. "Structural Change and Innovation in Developing Economies: A Way Out of the Middle Income Trap ?," LEM Papers Series 2015/09, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    12. Bishwanath GOLDAR & Suresh Chand AGGARWAL, 2005. "Trade Liberalization And Price-Cost Margin In Indian Industries," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 43(3), pages 346-373, September.
    13. Aldaba, Rafaelita M., 2010. "Does Trade Protection Improve Firm Productivity? Evidence from Philippine Micro Data," Discussion Papers DP 2010-32, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    14. Taymaz, Erol & Yilmaz, Kamil, 2006. "Productivity and Trade Orientation: Turkish Manufacturing Industry Before and After the Customs Union," MPRA Paper 58843, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.
    15. Gibson, Bill, 2005. "The transition to a globalized economy: Poverty, human capital and the informal sector in a structuralist CGE model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 60-94, October.
    16. Puja Vasudeva Dutta, 2004. "Trade Protection and Inter-industry Wages in India," PRUS Working Papers 27, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
    17. Boubakri, Narjess & Cosset, Jean-Claude & Guedhami, Omrane, 2005. "Liberalization, corporate governance and the performance of privatized firms in developing countries," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 767-790, October.
    18. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2007. "How labor market policies can combine workers'protection with job creation : a partial review of some key issues and policy options," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 41439, The World Bank.
    19. Erol Taymaz & Ebru Voyvoda & Kamil Yilmaz, 2008. "Turkiye Imalat Sanayiinde Yapisal Dönüsüm ve Teknolojik Degisme Dinamikleri," ERC Working Papers 0804, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Jun 2008.
    20. Getinet Haile & Ilina Srour & Marco Vivarelli, 2014. "Globalization and Technology Transfer in Ethiopia: Their Impact on Domestic Employment and Skills," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises1498, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    21. Sami Atallah & Ilina Srour, 2014. "The Emergence of Highly Sophisticated Lebanese Exports in the Absence of an Industrial Policy," Working Papers 876, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2014.

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