nep-int New Economics Papers
on International Trade
Issue of 2013‒09‒26
25 papers chosen by
Alessia A. Amighini
Universita' Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Import-push or Export-pull? An Industry-level Analysis of the Impact of Trade on Firm Exit By Ina Charlotte Jäkel
  2. Who Profits From Trade Facilitation Initiatives? By Bernard Hoekman; Ben Shepherd
  3. Foreign Trade and Investment: Firm-Level Perspectives By Helpman, Elhanan
  4. Impacts of common rules of origin on FTA utilization By Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Laksanapanyakul, Nuttawut
  5. Assessing the Trade-Related Sources of Productivity Growth in Emerging Economies By Przemyslaw Kowalski; Max Büge
  6. Love for Quality, Comparative Advantage, and Trade By Vincenzo Merella; Esteban Jaimovich
  7. Trade openness and spatial inequality in emerging countries By Ezcurra, Roberto; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  8. Impact of Corruption on Firm Level Export Decisions By William W. Olney
  9. Factor Proportions and the Growth of World Trade By Robert Zymek (University of Edinburgh)
  10. The Causal Impact of Common Native Language on International Trade: Evidence from a Spatial Regression Discontinuity Design By Egger, Peter; Lassmann, Andrea
  11. Policy Uncertainty, Trade and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the U.S. By Kyle Handley; Nuno Limão
  12. International Competitiveness and Monetary Policy: Strategic Policy and Coordination with a Production Relocation Externality By Bergin, Paul R; Corsetti, Giancarlo
  13. Size Inequality, Coordination Externalities and International Trade Agreements By Nuno Limão; Kamal Saggi
  14. Proofs to "Free Trade and Global Warming: A Trade Theory View of the Kyoto Protocol" By M. Scott Taylor; Brian Copeland
  15. APEC 2020: Connectivity and Trade Performance: Concept and Its Evidence from APEC Economies By Maddaremmeng A. Panennungi
  16. Harnessing Trade Opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa By Jean-Pierre Chauffour; Bernard M.
  17. A Mapping of Labor Mobility Costs in the Developing World By Erhan Artuç; Daniel Lederman; Guido Porto
  18. Global Production Networks and Employment: A Developing Country Perspective By Ben Shepherd; Susan Stone
  19. Gains from Trade? The Net Effect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement on U.S. Wages By David Rosnick;
  20. Does economic globalization affect regional inequality? A cross-country analysis By Ezcurra, Roberto; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  21. Immigrants and Native Workers: New Analysis Using Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data By Mette Foged; Giovanni Peri
  22. Quantifying Productivity Gains from Foreign Investment By Fons-Rosen, Christian; Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem; Sørensen, Bent E; Villegas-Sanchez, Carolina; Volosovych, Vadym
  23. Killing a Second Bird with One Stone? Promoting Firm Growth and Export through Tax Policy By Michele Bernini; Tania Treibich
  24. South-South migration and the labor market: Evidence from South Africa By Facchini, Giovanni; Mayda, Anna Maria; Mendola, Mariapia
  25. Measuring Competitiveness: Trade in Goods or Tasks? By Tamim Bayoumi; Mika Saito; Jarkko Turunen

  1. By: Ina Charlotte Jäkel (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: Does the selection effect of trade work solely through competition from imports, or does the export market further contribute to firm selection? This paper provides a re-interpretation of the different mechanisms in terms of selection on profitability - rather than productivity - and derives novel predictions regarding the export market and the role of product differentiation. Empirical results for a sample of Danish manufacturing industries confirm the import-"push" hypothesis as well as the export-"pull" hypothesis, but also reveal differences across industries. The selection effect of trade is mainly driven by the "import-push" if product differentiation is high, whereas it is driven by the "export-pull" if goods are homogeneous.
    Keywords: Firm exit, Exports, Import competition, Heterogeneous firms
    JEL: F12 F15 D21
    Date: 2013–09–18
  2. By: Bernard Hoekman; Ben Shepherd
    Abstract: Extensive research has demonstrated the existence of large potential welfare gains from trade facilitation—measures to reduce the overall costs of the international movement of goods. From an equity perspective an important question is how those benefits are distributed across and within nations. After discussing the possible impacts of trade facilitation, we use firm-level data for a wide variety of developing countries to investigate whether it is mostly large firms that benefit from trade facilitation. We find that firms of all sizes export more in response to improved trade facilitation. Our results suggest that trade facilitation can be beneficial in a range of countries, including those that are primarily involved in value chains as suppliers.
    Keywords: Trade facilitation, trade costs, WTO, firm-level data, developing countries, global value chains, supply chains.
    JEL: F13 F14 O24
    Date: 2013–07
  3. By: Helpman, Elhanan
    Abstract: This Economica Coase Lecture reviews research that has revolutionized the field of international trade and foreign direct investment. It explains the motivation behind the development of new analytical frameworks, the nature of these frameworks, and the empirical studies that sprouted from them.
    Keywords: FDI; inequality; productivity; trade; unemployment
    JEL: F12 F16 J64
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Laksanapanyakul, Nuttawut
    Abstract: This paper examines empirically the impacts of sharing rules of origin (RoOs) with other ASEAN+1 free trade agreements (FTAs) on ASEAN-Korea FTA/ASEAN-China FTA utilization in Thai exports in 2011. Our careful empirical analysis suggests that the harmonization of RoOs across FTAs play some role in reducing the costs yielded through the spaghetti bowl phenomenon. In particular, the harmonization to "change-in-tariff classification (CTC) or real value-added content (RVC)" will play a relatively positive role in not seriously discouraging firms’ use of multiple FTA schemes. On the other hand, the harmonization to CTC or CTC&RVC hinders firms from using those schemes.
    Keywords: Thailand, China, South Korea, International trade, FTA, Tariff, International agreements, Exports, Free trade agreement, Rules of origin, Spaghetti bowl phenomenon
    JEL: F10 F13 F15
    Date: 2013–09
  5. By: Przemyslaw Kowalski; Max Büge
    Abstract: This paper contributes new empirical evidence on the relationship between productivity and international trade. This is accomplished using an econometric approach that combines input-output and productivity data, which allows a more detailed tracking of the relationship between trade in intermediate and final products and productivity in countries at different stages of economic development. The results show that various forms of trade integration strongly support productivity in emerging economies. Exporting final products, importing intermediates for domestic production and re-exporting are all associated with higher productivity levels, pointing to the particular importance for this country grouping of being able to integrate into regional and global value chains. Our results emphasise also important linkages between different economic sectors and call for broad-based approaches to facilitating integration with foreign intermediate inputs and final products markets.
    Keywords: international trade, productivity, global value chains, emerging economies, intermediate imports, developing economies
    JEL: F13 F14 F43
    Date: 2013–07–30
  6. By: Vincenzo Merella (University of Cagliari); Esteban Jaimovich (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: We propose a Ricardian trade model with horizontal and vertical differentiation, where individuals' willingness to pay for quality rises with their income, and productivity differentials across countries are stronger for high-quality goods. Our theory predicts that the scope for trade widens and international specialisation intensifies as incomes grow and wealthier consumers raise the quality of their consumption baskets. This implies that comparative advantages intensify gradually over the path of development as a by-product of the process of quality upgrading. The evolution of comparative advantages leads to specific trade patterns that change over the growth path, by linking richer importers to more specialised exporters. We provide empirical support for this prediction, showing that the share of imports originating from exporters exhibiting a comparative advantage in a specific product correlates positively with the importer's GDP per head.
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Ezcurra, Roberto; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: Emerging world countries have experienced over the last two decades a significant change in their trade patterns. Bold trade reforms have been followed by rapid rises in international trade levels. However, despite these radical changes, we know remarkably little about how changes in trade patterns are affecting the evolution of regional inequality in the developing world. This paper addresses the link between trade openness and spatial inequality across 22 emerging countries over the period between 1990 and 2006. Our findings show that changes in international trade bring about a significant rise in within country inequality across the developing world and that this impact is greatest in the poorest countries. This result is robust to the inclusion of a number of control variables, and to changes in the specification of the sample and in the measure used to quantify the level of regional disparities. Consequently, the increase in trade exposure across the emerging world, while possibly benefiting the countries involved in the process in aggregate terms, is generating winning and losing regions.
    Keywords: convergence/divergence; developing world; economic growth; emerging countries; spatial inequality; trade
    JEL: F14 F43 O18 R11
    Date: 2013–04
  8. By: William W. Olney (Williams College)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of corruption on the self-selection of firms into domestic and export markets. The heterogeneous firm model predicts that corruption decreases the probability that a firm only sells domestically, increases the probability that a firm exports indirectly through an intermediary, and decreases the probability that a firm exports directly. The propositions of the model are tested using a comprehensive data set of over 24,000 firms in more than 90 developing countries. The results confirm both the self-selection of firms according to their productivity and the anticipated impact of corruption. This indicates that in developing countries where corruption is especially severe, intermediaries provide a crucial link to global markets.
    Keywords: Corruption, Exports, Intermediaries
    JEL: F1 D73
    Date: 2013–07
  9. By: Robert Zymek (University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: Most of the expansion of global trade during the last three decades has been of the North-South kind – between capital-abundant developed and labour-abundant developing countries. Based on this observation, I argue that the recent growth of world trade is best understood from a factor-proportions perspective. I present novel evidence documenting that differences in capital-labour ratios across countries have increased in the wake of two shocks to the global economy: i) the opening up of China and ii) financial globalisation and the resulting upstream capital flows towards capital-abundant regions. I analyse their impact on specialisation and the volume of trade in a dynamic model which combines factor-proportions trade in goods with international trade in financial assets. Calibrating this model, I find that it can account for 60% of world trade growth between 1980 and 2007. It is also capable of predicting international investment patterns which are consistent with the data.
    Keywords: Heckscher-Ohlin, international trade, China, financial globalisation
    JEL: F11 F14 F21 F32 F43
    Date: 2013–09–18
  10. By: Egger, Peter; Lassmann, Andrea
    Abstract: This paper studies the causal effect of sharing a common native language on international trade. Switzerland is a multilingual country that hosts four official language groups of which three are major (French, German, and Italian). These groups of native language speakers are geographically separated, with the corresponding regions bordering countries which share a majority of speakers of the same native language. All of the three main languages are understood and spoken by most Swiss citizens, especially the ones residing close to internal language borders in Switzerland. This unique setting allows for an assessment of the impact of common native (rather than spoken) language as a cultural aspect of language on trade from within country-pairs. We do so by exploiting the discontinuity in various international bilateral trade outcomes based on Swiss transaction-level data at historical language borders within Switzerland. The effect on various margins of imports is positive and significant. The results suggest that, on average, common native language between regions biases the regional structure of the value of international imports towards them by 18 percentage points and that of the number of import transactions by 20 percentage points. In addition, regions import 102 additional products from a neighboring country sharing a common native language compared to a different native language exporter. This effect is considerably lower than the overall estimate (using aggregate bilateral trade and no regression discontinuity design) of common official language on Swiss international imports in the same sample. The latter subsumes both the effect of common spoken language as a communication factor and of confounding economic and institutional factors and is quantitatively well in line with the common official (spoken or native) language coefficient in many gravity model estimates of international trade.
    Keywords: Common language; Culture; International trade; Quasi-randomized experiments; Regression discontinuity design
    JEL: C14 C21 F14 R12 Z10
    Date: 2013–04
  11. By: Kyle Handley; Nuno Limão
    Abstract: We assess the impact of U.S. trade policy uncertainty (TPU) toward China in a tractable general equilibrium framework with heterogeneous firms. We show that increased TPU reduces investment in export entry and technology upgrading, which in turn reduces trade flows and real income for consumers. We apply the model to analyze China's export boom around its WTO accession and argue that in the case of the U.S. the most important policy effect was a reduction in TPU: granting permanent normal trade relationship status and thus ending the annual threat to revert to Smoot-Hawley tariff levels. We construct a theory-consistent measure of TPU and estimate that it can explain between 22-30% of Chinese exports to the US after WTO accession. We also estimate a welfare gain of removing this TPU for U.S. consumers and find it is of similar magnitude to the U.S. gain from new imported varieties in 1990-2001.
    JEL: D8 D92 F1 F13 F14 F5 O24
    Date: 2013–08
  12. By: Bergin, Paul R; Corsetti, Giancarlo
    Abstract: Can a country gain international competitiveness by the design of optimal monetary stabilization rules? This paper reconsiders this question by specifying an open-economy monetary model encompassing a ‘production relocation externality,’ developed in trade theory to analyze the benefits from promoting entry of domestic firms in the manufacturing sector. In a macroeconomic context, this externality provides an incentive for monetary authorities to trade-off output gap with pro-competitive profit stabilization. While helping manufacturing firms to set competitively low prices, optimal pro-competitive stabilization nonetheless results in stronger terms of trade, due to the change in the country’s specialization and composition of exports. The welfare gains from international policy coordination are large relative to the case of self-oriented, strategic conduct of stabilization policy. Empirical evidence confirms that the effects of monetary policy design on the composition of trade predicted by the theory are present in data and are quantitatively important.
    Keywords: firm entry; international coordination; monetary policy; optimal tariff; production location externality
    JEL: F41
    Date: 2013–08
  13. By: Nuno Limão (University of Maryland); Kamal Saggi (Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: Developing countries now account for a significant fraction of world trade and two thirds of the membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, many are still individually small and thus have a limited ability to bilaterally extract and enforce trade concessions from larger developed economies even though as a group they would be able to do so. We show that this coordination externality generates asymmetric outcomes under agreements that rely on bilateral threats of trade retaliation---such as the WTO---but not under agreements extended to include certain financial instruments. In particular, we find that an extended agreement generates improvements in global efficiency and equity if it includes the exchange of bonds prior to trading but not if it relies solely on ex-post fines. Moreover, a combination of bonds and fines generates similar improvements even if small countries are subject to financial constraints that prevent them from posting bonds.
    Keywords: trade agreements, tariffs, bonds, fines.
    JEL: F1 O1
    Date: 2013–09–08
  14. By: M. Scott Taylor (University of Calgary); Brian Copeland
    Date: 2013–07–15
  15. By: Maddaremmeng A. Panennungi (APEC Study Centre University of Indonesia (ASC UI))
    Abstract: Connectivity is one of the specific agenda in APEC summit 2013 in Indonesia. Physical connectivity is one of the pillars among three pillar of connectivity. Infrastructures are very important to facilitate connectivity, namely logistics. This paper is aimed at (i) exploring the relation between logistics (both domestic and international logistics) and trade performance by using gravity model; (ii) developing the logistics cost index (Domestic Logistics Cost Index and International Logistics Cost Index) which is based on economic logic of gravity model; (iii) showing the empirical evidence of the relation between the export performance and the new logistics cost index in APEC economies; (iv) Understanding the selected case of cross border and inside the border connectivity development including its challenges. Some interesting findings are shown in the following: First, the extension of gravity model shows that logistics that consist of domestic and international logistics have positive relation with the improvement trade performance. Second, both of the new logistics index has a positive relation with the export performance in APEC economies; Third, by using the new logistic indices, it could be shown that the improvement of logistics condition of one country/economy in APEC tend to increase the export performance of the economy/country and in the same time it will increase the export of the other APEC economies to that country. Fourth, there are progress and challenges in the development of the infrastructures that support logistics in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Domestic Logistics Cost, International Logistic Cost, Export Performance, APEC Economies, Indonesia
    JEL: F1 F4
    Date: 2013–09
  16. By: Jean-Pierre Chauffour; Bernard M.
    Abstract: Greater integration into the international economy is a key means through which countries in the Middle East and North Africa can reap the benefits of already existing market opportunities to accelerate economic growth and job creation. An effective economic integration strategy requires complementing reductions in trade barriers with policy reforms to ensure that markets become more competitive (contestable for new entrants) and that operating and transactions costs for firms fall. This paper argues that there are two overarching priority areas for trade-related reforms in many Arab countries: reducing formal trade barriers further, and lowering trade costs through trade facilitation measures and improving “connectivity†for firms, including deeper regional economic integration.
    Keywords: Trade and development, Arab economies, economic integration
    Date: 2013–06
  17. By: Erhan Artuç (WORLD BANK); Daniel Lederman (WORLD BANK); Guido Porto (Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: Estimates of labor mobility costs are needed to assess the responses of employment and wages to a trade shock when factor adjustment is costly. Available methods to estimate those costs rely on panel data, which are seldom available in developing countries. In this paper, we propose a method to estimate mobility costs using data that is more easily obtainable worldwide. Our estimator matches observed employment flows with those flows predicted by a model of costly labor adjustment. We estimate a mapping of labor mobility costs for the developing world and we use those estimates to explore the response of labor markets (wages and employment) to trade policy.
    JEL: F16 D58 J2 J6
    Date: 2013–07
  18. By: Ben Shepherd; Susan Stone
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence of the links between Global Value Chains (GVCs) and labour market outcomes, focusing on developing economies. The literature generally indicates that firms with international linkages—which we use here as a proxy for GVC involvement—tend to employ more workers, pay higher wages, and employ more skilled workers than firms that deal exclusively with the domestic market. Our results are consistent with existing evidence found in developed economies, with internationalised firms tending to hire more workers and pay higher wages in developing economies as well. We also find a positive significant relationship between the number of skilled workers and firms with international linkages but not in certain key economies. However, this comes more from firms who are importers, exporters and foreign affiliates rather than engaging in any of these activities individually. We attribute this finding to the predominance of assembly work performed in many of the economies under consideration, where unskilled workers tend to dominate. Finally, we see a strong, positive association between shares of female workers and firms with international linkages. Engaging in international activity is shown to provide greater opportunities for women to enter the formal labour market.
    Keywords: international trade, employment, wages, global value chains, skills, gender
    JEL: F14 F16 F23
    Date: 2013–05–14
  19. By: David Rosnick;
    Abstract: Recent estimates of the U.S. economic gains that would result from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are very small — only 0.13 percent of GDP by 2025. Taking into account the un-equalizing effect of trade on wages, this paper finds the median wage earner will probably lose as a result of any such agreement. In fact, most workers are likely to lose — the exceptions being some of the bottom quarter or so whose earnings are determined by the minimum wage; and those with the highest wages who are more protected from international competition. Rather, many top incomes will rise as a result of TPP expansion of the terms and enforcement of copyrights and patents. The long-term losses, going forward over the same period (to 2025), from the failure to restore full employment to the United States have been some 25 times greater than the potential gains of the TPP, and more than five times as large as the possible gains resulting from a much broader trade agenda.
    Keywords: trade, trans-pacific partnership, TPP, jobs, GDP growth, wages, workers
    JEL: E E2 E24 F F1 F13 F16 J J3 J31
    Date: 2013–09
  20. By: Ezcurra, Roberto; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between economic globalization and regional inequality in a panel of 47 countries over the period 1990-2007, using a measure of globalization that distinguishes the different dimensions of economic integration. The results show that there is a positive and statistically significant association between economic globalization and the magnitude of regional disparities. Countries with a greater degree of economic integration with the rest of the world tend to register higher levels of regional inequality. This finding is robust to the inclusion of additional explanatory variables and to the choice of the specific measure used to quantify the relevance of spatial inequality within the sample countries. Our analysis also reveals that the spatial impact of economic globalization is greater in low- and middle-income countries, whose levels of regional disparities are on average significantly higher than in high-income countries.
    Keywords: Economic globalization; Regional inequality
    JEL: F15 R11 R12
    Date: 2013–07
  21. By: Mette Foged; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: Using a database that includes the universe of individuals and establishments in Denmark over the period 1991-2008 we analyze the effect of a large inflow of non-European (EU) immigrants on Danish workers. We first identify a sharp and sustained supply-driven increase in the inflow of non-EU immigrants in Denmark, beginning in 1995 and driven by a sequence of international events such as the Bosnian, Somalian and Iraqi crises. We then look at the response of occupational complexity, job upgrading and downgrading, wage and employment of natives in the short and long run. We find that the increased supply of non-EU low skilled immigrants pushed native workers to pursue more complex occupations. This reallocation happened mainly through movement across firms. Immigration increased mobility of natives across firms and across municipalities but it did not increase their probability of unemployment. We also observe a significant shift in the native labor force towards complex service industries in locations receiving more immigrants. Those mechanisms protected individual wages from immigrants competition and enhanced their wage outcomes. While the highly educated experienced wage gains already in the short-run, the gains of the less educated built up over time as they moved towards jobs that were complementary to those held by the non-EU immigrants.
    JEL: F22 J24 J61
    Date: 2013–08
  22. By: Fons-Rosen, Christian; Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem; Sørensen, Bent E; Villegas-Sanchez, Carolina; Volosovych, Vadym
    Abstract: We quantify the causal effect of foreign investment on total factor productivity (tfp) using a new global firm-level database. Our identification strategy relies on exploiting the difference in the amount of foreign investment by financial and industrial investors and simultaneously controlling for unobservable firm and country-sector-year factors. Using our well identified firm level estimates for the direct effect of foreign ownership on acquired firms and for the spillover effects on domestic firms, we calculate the aggregate impact of foreign investment on country-level productivity growth and find it to be very small.
    Keywords: FDI; Knowledge Spillovers; Multinationals; Selection
    JEL: E32 F15 F36 O16
    Date: 2013–04
  23. By: Michele Bernini; Tania Treibich
    Abstract: In this paper we test whether policies that induce tangible asset growth among domestic companies are effective in increasing their entry into export markets. We solve the endogeneity problem inherent to the empirical investigation of the growth-export relationship by adopting an instrumental variable (IV) strategy that exploits an exogenous policy variation in corporate tax (CT) rate as an instrument for firm growth. A reduction of the CT rate in France is found increasing firm size and promoting through this channel export entry. Our result is robust to two alternative identification strategies: first we compare firms that enjoyed CT reduction against those that did not benefit from it, then we exploit the differential impact of statutory rate reduction on the firm-level effective marginal and average rates of taxation (EMTR and EATR) within the group of firms eligible for tax reduction. We conclude that the fiscal lever has a direct impact on firm size and an indirect impact on export participation.
    Keywords: Export, corporate tax, firm growth, SME
    JEL: C21 C26 F14 H25 D24 D92
    Date: 2013–09
  24. By: Facchini, Giovanni; Mayda, Anna Maria; Mendola, Mariapia
    Abstract: Using census data for 1996, 2001 and 2007 we study the labor market effect of immigration to South Africa. The paper contributes to a small but growing literature on the impact of South-South migration by looking at one of the most attractive destinations for migrant workers in Sub--Saharan Africa. We exploit the variation -- both at the district level and at the national one -- in the share of foreign--born male workers across schooling and experience groups over time. At the district level, we estimate that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' employment rates -- and that this effect is more negative for skilled and white South African native workers -- but not on total income. These results are robust to using an instrumental variable estimation strategy. At the national level, we find that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' total income but not on employment rates. Our results are consistent with outflows of natives to other districts as a consequence of migration, as in Borjas (2006).
    Keywords: Immigration; Labor market effects; South Africa
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2013–04
  25. By: Tamim Bayoumi; Mika Saito; Jarkko Turunen
    Abstract: With global supply chains, any value added or production task can be traded as part of goods. This means that competitiveness can be measured either in terms of “tasks†(Bems and Johnson, 2012), or goods, but with goods prices reflecting the cost of tasks embedded in those goods. We show that when measuring competitiveness in goods, the formula used in computing the real effective exchange rates at the IMF (Bayoumi, Lee, and Jayanthi, 2005) needs to be expressed in terms of the price of value added and needs an additional term, which captures a gain or loss in competitiveness of goods due to outsourcing.
    Keywords: Global competitiveness;Emerging markets;International trade;Real effective exchange rates;Economic models;Real Effective Exchange Rate; Global Supply Chains
    Date: 2013–05–08

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