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Long-Term Shifts in Korean Manufacturing and Plant-Level Productivity Dynamics

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  • Lee,Yoonsoo

Abstract

The Korean manufacturing sector has undergone active structural transformation in the past few decades. In particular, the composition of core manufacturing products has changed over time. In the 1970s, textiles, which are used to produce fabric, clothes, apparel, and shoes, were the main product. Over time, the value added shares have shifted toward electronics, ships, and cars. By analyzing plant-level microdata, this paper documents the patterns of entry, exit, job creation and destruction, and the growth of young plants during the industrial shift. This industrial shift involved active job reallocations, as well as the entry and exit of plants. The paper quantifies the extent to which such plant-level dynamics explain aggregate productivity growth. The findings show that within-plant productivity growth, which includes the effects of fast growth of young plants as well as robust growth of large continuing plants, played an important role in the productivity growth of the Korean manufacturing sector. The contribution of reallocations between continuing plants was relatively small. Moreover, productivity growth of an industry accompanied an increase of productivity dispersion, a measure commonly interpreted as the degree of misallocation.

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  • Lee,Yoonsoo, 2020. "Long-Term Shifts in Korean Manufacturing and Plant-Level Productivity Dynamics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9279, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:9279
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    References listed on IDEAS

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