Accounting for the New Productivity Gains From Globalization
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM
- Chair: Nina Pavcnik, Dartmouth College and NBER
Productivity, Misallocation and Trade
AbstractThis paper investigates the relationship between trade, allocative efficiency and aggregate productivity, using unique data collected by the Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet) for 16 European countries and 20 manufacturing industries over the 1998-2011 period. The key feature of this data is that it allows decomposing the sector-level productivity of labor into an average productivity term and the contribution of the allocation of production factors across firms (allocative efficiency), which we relate to trade patterns measured at the country-sector level. In our empirical strategy, we use a two-stage least squares estimator to address the endogeneity problem between trade and productivity, where country-sector exports and imports are explained in a first-stage equation by the foreign demand and supply capacity of the trade partners. We find strong evidence that growth in foreign export demand, import competition and imported-input supply significantly increase aggregate labor productivity. While export demand operates by improving both the average productivity of firms as well as the allocative efficiency of production factors within each country and sector, the benefits from import penetration are mostly mediated by within-firm productivity upgrading. Finally, we further document how financial and labor market frictions can affect productivity growth through the efficiency of resource allocation across firms.
Reaasessing the Productivity Gains From Trade Liberalization
AbstractThis paper reassesses the impact of trade liberalization on productivity. We build a new, unique database of effective tariff rates at the country-industry level for a broad range of countries over the past two decades. We then explore both the direct effect of liberalization in the sector considered, as well as its indirect impact in downstream industries via input linkages. Our findings point to a dominant role of the indirect input market channel in fostering productivity gains. A 1 percentage point decline in input tariffs is estimated to increase total factor productivity by about 2 percent in the sector considered. For advanced economies, the implied potential productivity gains from fully eliminating remaining tariffs are estimated at around 1 percent, on average, which do not factor in the presumably larger gains from removing existing non-tariff barriers. Finally, we find strong evidence of complementarities between trade and FDI liberalization in boosting productivity. This calls for a broad liberalization agenda that cuts across different areas.
Selection and Market Reallocation: Productivity Gains From Multinational Production
AbstractAssessing productivity gains from multinational production has been a vital topic of economic research and policy debate. Positive productivity gains are often attributed to productivity spillovers; however, an alternative, much less emphasized channel is selection and market reallocation whereby competition leads to factor reallocation both within and between domestic firms and exits of the least productive firms. We investigate the roles of these different mechanisms in determining aggregate productivity gains using a unifying framework that explores the mechanisms' distinct predictions on the distributions of domestic firms: Within-firm productivity improvement shifts the productivity distribution rightward while selection and market reallocation shifts the revenue and employment distributions leftward and raises left truncations. Using a rich cross-country firm panel dataset, we find significant evidence of both mechanisms and effects of competition in product, technology and labor space. However, selection and market reallocation account for the majority of aggregate productivity gains, suggesting that ignoring this channel could lead to substantial bias in understanding the nature of productivity gains from multinational production.
- F1 - Trade
- F2 - International Factor Movements and International Business