IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Manufacturing Firms In Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, And Why?

  • James Tybout

    (Georgetown University)

The manufacturing sectors of less developed countries (LDCs) have traditionally been relatively protected. They have also been subject to heavy regulation, much of which is biased in favor of large enterprises. Accordingly, it is often argued that manufacturers in these countries perform poorly in several respects: (1) markets tolerate inefficient firms, so cross-firm productivity dispersion is high; (2) small groups of entrenched oligopolists exploit monopoly power in product markets; and (3) many small firms are unable or un-willing to grow, so important scale economies go unexploited. In this paper I assess each of these conjectures, drawing on plant and firm-level studies of LDC manufacturers. I find none to be systematically supported. Turnover is substantial, unexploited scale economies are modest, and convincing demonstrations of monopoly rents are generally lacking. Nonetheless I find some evidence that protection increases firms' price-cost margins and reduces average efficiency levels at the margin. Finally, al-though the econometric evidence on technology diffusion in LDCs is limited, it does sug-gest that protecting "learning" industries is unlikely to foster productivity growth. All of this suggests that the general trend toward trade liberalization has yielded larger benefits that the traditional gains from trade.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/dev/papers/9805/9805004.ps.gz
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/dev/papers/9805/9805004.html
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/dev/papers/9805/9805004.pdf
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/dev/papers/9805/9805004.doc.gz
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 9805004.

as
in new window

Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jun 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:9805004
Note: Type of Document - Word 97; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP; pages: 61 ; figures: included. This paper was partially funded by the World Bank's Economic Development Institute. I have benefited from discussions with Mark Dutz, Mark Gersovitz, Bernard Hoekman, Carl Liedholm, William Maloney, Desmond McCarthy, Howard Pack, Mark Roberts, Maurice Schiff, and William Steel. I am especially indebted to John Pencavel and several anonymous reviewers, who have improved this manuscript with many insightful suggestions.
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Levinsohn, J., 1991. "Testing the Imports-As-Market-Discipline Hypothesis," Working Papers 272, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  2. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
  3. Pack, Howard, 1984. "Productivity and technical choice : Applications to the textile industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-2), pages 153-176.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  5. Tan, Hong & Batra, Geeta, 1997. "Technology and Firm Size-Wage Differentials in Colombia, Mexico, and Taiwan (China)," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 59-83, January.
  6. Bee Yan Aw & Xiaomin Chen & Mark J. Roberts, 1997. "Firm-level Evidence on Productivity Differentials, Turnover, and Exports in Taiwanese Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 6235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  8. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  9. Nancy L Stokey, 1986. "Learning-by-Doing and the Introduction of New Goods," Discussion Papers 699, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, revised May 1987.
  10. Banerji, Ranadev, 1978. "Average size of plants in manufacturing and capital intensity : A cross-country analysis by industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 155-166, June.
  11. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  12. Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 1991. "Size Rationalization and Trade Exposure in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Studies of Commercial Policy, pages 169-200 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stigler, George J, 1976. "The Xistence of X-Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 213-16, March.
  14. Richard E. Caves, 1992. "Industrial Efficiency in Six Nations," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031930.
  15. Pack, Howard & Westphal, Larry E., 1986. "Industrial strategy and technological change : Theory versus reality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-128, June.
  16. Miyagiwa, K. & Ohno, Y., 1993. "Closing the Technology Gap Under Protection," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 93-09, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  17. 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.
  18. Tybout, James R, 1984. "Interest Control and Credit Allocation in Developing Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(4), pages 474-87, November.
  19. Rutherford, Thomas F. & Rutstrom, E.E. & Tarr, David, 1993. "Morocco's free trade agreement with the European community : a quantitative assessment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1173, The World Bank.
  20. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  21. Shantayanan Devarajan & Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade Reform: Results from a CGE Model of Cameroon," NBER Working Papers 3176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Evenson, Robert E. & Westphal, Larry E., 1995. "Technological change and technology strategy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2209-2299 Elsevier.
  23. Ricardo Hausmann & Michael Gavin, 1996. "Securing Stability and Growth in a Shock Prone Region: The Policy Challenge for Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 5919, Inter-American Development Bank.
  24. Harrison, Ann, 1995. "Determinants and effects of direct foreign investment in Cote d'Ivoire, Morocco, and Venezuela," MPRA Paper 36594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  25. Paul Collier & Marcel Fafchamps & Francis Teal & Stefan Dercon, 2000. "Exports and Firm - level Efficiency in African Manufacturing," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  26. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 1992. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and a Computational Assessment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 11-30, 01.
  27. T. A. Bhavani, 1991. "Technical Efficiency in Indian Modern Small Scale Sector: An Application of Frontier Production function," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 149-166, July.
  28. 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.
  29. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "Pattenrs Of Firm Entry And Exit In U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 1-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  30. Pravin Krishna & Devashish Mitra, . "Trade Liberalization, Market Discipline and Productivity Growth: New Evidence From India," Working Papers 96-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  31. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  32. Tybout, James R, 1992. "Linking Trade and Productivity: New Research Directions," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 189-211, May.
  33. Feenstra, Robert C & Markusen, James R, 1994. "Accounting for Growth with New Inputs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 429-47, May.
  34. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  35. Little, I M D, 1987. "Small Manufacturing Enterprises in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(2), pages 203-35, January.
  36. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
  37. Fisher, Franklin M & McGowan, John J, 1983. "On the Misuse of Accounting Rates of Return to Infer Monopoly Profits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 82-97, March.
  38. Biggs, T. & Shah, M. & Srivastava, P., 1995. "Technological Capabilities and Learning in African Enterprises," Papers 288, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  39. Westbrook, M Daniel & Tybout, James R, 1993. "Estimating Returns to Scale with Large, Imperfect Panels: An Application to Chilean Manufacturing Industries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(1), pages 85-112, January.
  40. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
  41. Page, John Jr., 1984. "Firm size and technical efficiency : Applications of production frontiers to Indian survey data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-2), pages 129-152.
  42. Gene M. Grossman (ed.), 1992. "Imperfect Competition and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262570939.
  43. Gauthier, Bernard & Gersovitz, Mark, 1997. "Revenue erosion through exemption and evasion in Cameroon, 1993," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 407-424, June.
  44. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  45. Basant, Rakesh & Fikkert, Brian, 1996. "The Effects of R&D, Foreign Technology Purchase, and Domestic and International Spillovers on Productivity in Indian Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 187-99, May.
  46. Vousden, Neil & Campbell, Neil, 1994. "The organizational cost of protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3-4), pages 219-238, November.
  47. Tybout, James R., 1992. "Making noisy data sing : Estimating production technologies in developing countries," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 25-44.
  48. Schmalensee, Richard, 1985. "Do Markets Differ Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 341-51, June.
  49. 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.
  50. Page, John M, Jr, 1980. "Technical Efficiency and Economic Performance: Some Evidence from Ghana," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 319-39, July.
  51. Haddad, Mona, 1993. "How trade liberalization affected productivity in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1096, The World Bank.
  52. 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.
  53. Handoussa, Heba & Nishimizu, Mieko & Page, John Jr., 1986. "Productivity change in Egyptian public sector industries after the opening, 1973-1979," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 53-73.
  54. Griliches, Zvi & Regev, Haim, 1995. "Firm productivity in Israeli industry 1979-1988," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 175-203, January.
  55. Blomstrom, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 1997. "How foreign investment affects host countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1745, The World Bank.
  56. BRUNETTI, AYMO AART OLIVER & Kisunko,Gregory & Weder,Beatrice Silvia, 1997. "Institutional obstacles to doing business : region-by-region results from a worldwide survey of the private sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1759, The World Bank.
  57. Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L. & Rivera-Batiz, Luis A., 1990. "The effects of direct foreign investment in the presence of increasing returns due to specialization," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 287-307, November.
  58. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
  59. Levy, Brian, 1990. "Transactions costs, the size of firms and industrial policy : Lessons from a comparative case study of the footwear industry in Korea and Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 151-178, November.
  60. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  61. repec:fth:michin:289 is not listed on IDEAS
  62. William H. Greene, 1993. "Frontier Production Functions," Working Papers 93-20, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  63. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  64. Dani Rodrik, 1988. "Imperfect Competition, Scale Economies, and Trade Policy in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Trade Policy Issues and Empirical Analysis, pages 109-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  65. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
  66. Pitt, Mark M. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1981. "The measurement and sources of technical inefficiency in the Indonesian weaving industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-64, August.
  67. Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  68. Levenson, Alec R. & Maloney, William F., 1998. "The informal sector, firm dynamics, and institutional participation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1988, The World Bank.
  69. Aw, B. -Y. & Hwang, A. R., 1995. "Productivity and the export market: A firm-level analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 313-332, August.
  70. Tyler, William G & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1979. "On Estimating Stochastic Frontier Production Functions and Average Efficiency: An Empirical Analysis with Colombian Micro Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 436-38, August.
  71. 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.
  72. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & DEC, 1994. "Do domestic firms benefit from foreign direct investment? Evidence from panel data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1248, The World Bank.
  73. Pursell, Garry, 1990. "Industrial Sickness, Primary and Secondary: The Effects of Exit Constraints on Industrial Performance," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(1), pages 103-14, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:9805004. 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: (EconWPA)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.