01 Nov 2003-Econometrica (ECONOMETRICA)-Vol. 71, Iss: 6, pp 1695-1725
Abstract: This paper develops a dynamic industry model with heterogeneous firms to analyze the intra-industry effects of international trade. The model shows how the exposure to trade will induce only the more productive firms to enter the export market (while some less productive firms continue to produce only for the domestic market) and will simultaneously force the least productive firms to exit. It then shows how further increases in the industry's exposure to trade lead to additional inter-firm reallocations towards more productive firms. The paper also shows how the aggregate industry productivity growth generated by the reallocations contributes to a welfare gain, thus highlighting a benefit from trade that has not been examined theoretically before. The paper adapts Hopenhayn's (1992a) dynamic industry model to monopolistic competition in a general equilibrium setting. In so doing, the paper provides an extension of Krugman's (1980) trade model that incorporates firm level productivity differences. Firms with different productivity levels coexist in an industry because each firm faces initial uncertainty concerning its productivity before making an irreversible investment to enter the industry. Entry into the export market is also costly, but the firm's decision to export occurs after it gains knowledge of its productivity.
Abstract: Multinational sales have grown at high rates over the last two decades, outpacing the remarkable expansion of trade in manufactures. Consequently, the trade literature has sought to incorporate the mode of foreign market access into the “new” trade theory. This literature recognizes that rms can serve foreign buyers through a variety of channels: they can export their products to foreign customers, serve them through foreign subsidiaries, or license foreign rms to produce their products. Our work focuses on the rm’s choice between exports and “horizontal” foreign direct investment (FDI). Horizontal FDI refers to an investment in a foreign production facility that is designed to serve customers in the foreign market. Firms invest abroad when the gains from avoiding trade costs outweigh the costs of maintaining capacity in multiple markets. This is known as the proximity-concentration tradeoff. We introduce heterogeneous rms into a simple multicountry, multisector model, in which rms face a proximity-concentration trade-off. Every rm decides whether to serve a foreign market, and whether to do so through exports or local subsidiary sales. These modes of market access have different relative costs: exporting involves lower xed costs while FDI involves lower variable costs. Our model highlights the important role of within-sector rm productivity differences in explaining the structure of international trade and investment. First, only the most productive rms engage in foreign activities. This result mirrors other ndings on rm heterogeneity and trade; in particular, the results reported in Melitz (2003). Second, of those rms that serve foreign markets, only the most productive engage in FDI. Third, FDI sales relative to exports are larger in sectors with more rm heterogeneity. Using U.S. exports and af liate sales data that cover 52 manufacturing sectors and 38 countries, we show that cross-sectoral differences in rm heterogeneity predict the composition of trade and investment in the manner suggested by our model. We construct several measures of rm heterogeneity, using different data sources, and show that our results are robust across all these measures. In addition, we con rm the predictions of the proximityconcentration trade-off. That is, rms tend to substitute FDI sales for exports when transport * Helpman: Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, Tel Aviv University, and CIAR (e-mail: email@example.com); Melitz: Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, National Bureau of Economic Research, and Centre for Economic Policy Research (e-mail: mmelitz@ harvard.edu); Yeaple: Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, and National Bureau of Economic Research (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). The statistical analysis of rmlevel data on U.S. Multinational Corporations reported in this study was conducted at the International Investment Division, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, under an arrangement that maintained legal con dentiality requirements. Views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily re ect those of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Elhanan Helpman thanks the NSF for nancial support. We also thank Daron Acemoglu, Roberto Rigobon, Yona Rubinstein, and Dani Tsiddon for comments on an earlier draft, and Man-Keung Tang for excellent research assistance. 1 See Wilfred J. Ethier (1986), Ignatius Horstmann and James R. Markusen (1987), and Ethier and Markusen (1996) for models that incorporate the licensing alternative. We therefore exclude “vertical” motives for FDI that involve fragmentation of production across countries. See Helpman (1984, 1985), Markusen (2002, Ch. 9), and Gordon H. Hanson et al. (2002) for treatments of this form of FDI. 3 See, for example, Horstmann and Markusen (1992), S. Lael Brainard (1993), and Markusen and Anthony J. Venables (2000). 4 See also Andrew B. Bernard et al. (2003) for an alternative theoretical model and Yeaple (2003a) for a model based on worker-skill heterogeneity. James R. Tybout (2003) surveys the recent micro-level evidence on trade that has motivated these theoretical models. 5 This result is loosely connected to the documented empirical pattern that foreign-owned af liates are more productive than domestically owned producers. See Mark E. Doms and J. Bradford Jensen (1998) for the United States and Sourafel Girma et al. (2002) for the United Kingdom.
Abstract: We analyze the effect of rising Chinese import competition between 1990 and 2007 on US local labor markets, exploiting cross-market variation in import exposure stemming from initial diffe...
Abstract: Economists have shown that large and persistent differences in productivity levels across businesses are ubiquitous. This finding has shaped research agendas in a number of fields, including (but not limited to) macroeconomics, industrial organization, labor, and trade. This paper surveys and evaluates recent empirical work addressing the question of why businesses differ in their measured productivity levels. The causes are manifold, and differ depending on the particular setting. They include elements sourced in production practices -- and therefore over which producers have some direct control, at least in theory -- as well as from producers' external operating environments. After evaluating the current state of knowledge, I lay out what I see are the major questions that research in the area should address going forward. (JEL D24, G31, L11, M10, O30, O47)
Abstract: Resource misallocation can lower aggregate total factor productivity (TFP).We
use microdata on manufacturing establishments to quantify the potential extent
of misallocation in China and India versus the United States. We measure sizable
gaps in marginal products of labor and capital across plants within narrowly
defined industries in China and India compared with the United States. When
capital and labor are hypothetically reallocated to equalize marginal products to
the extent observed in the United States, we calculate manufacturing TFP gains
of 30%–50% in China and 40%–60% in India.
Abstract: We develop a monopolistically competitive model of trade with firm heterogeneity—in terms of productivity differences—and endogenous differences in the “toughness” of competition across markets—in terms of the number and average productivity of competing firms. We analyse how these features vary across markets of different size that are not perfectly integrated through trade; we then study the effects of different trade liberalization policies. In our model, market size and trade affect the toughness of competition, which then feeds back into the selection of heterogeneous producers and exporters in that market. Aggregate productivity and average mark-ups thus respond to both the size of a market and the extent of its integration through trade (larger, more integrated markets exhibit higher productivity and lower mark-ups). Our model remains highly tractable, even when extended to a general framework with multiple asymmetric countries integrated to different extents through asymmetric trade costs. We believe this provides a useful modelling framework that is particularly well suited to the analysis of trade and regional integration policy scenarios in an environment with heterogeneous firms and endogenous mark-ups.
Abstract: Pettengill tests whether there is an excessive number of firms in a monopolistically competitive equilibrium by a device of considerable expository merit. He removes one firm, and redistributes the resources thus released equally over the remaining firms in the sector, to see if welfare can be improved. To do this correctly, we write n, for the equilibrium number of firms and xe for the output of each. With fixed cost a and constant average variable cost c, removing one firm releases (a + Cxe) of resources, and this enables the output of each of the remaining ( I) firms to be increased (a + c Xe )/(1fl 1)}. The quantity xo of the numeraire good is unaffected by this, and the utility function (equation (31) of our paper) is
Abstract: For some time now there has been considerable skepticism about the ability of comparative cost theory to explain the actual pattern of international trade. Neither the extensive trade among the industrial countries, nor the prevalence in this trade of two-way exchanges of differentiated products, make much sense in terms of standard theory. As a result, many people have concluded that a new framework for analyzing trade is needed.' The main elements of such a framework-economies of scale, the possibility of product differentiation, and imperfect competition-have been discussed by such authors as Bela Balassa, Herbert Grubel (1967,1970), and Irving Kravis, and have been "in the air" for many years. In this paper I present a simple formal analysis which incorporates these elements, and show how it can be used to shed some light on some issues which cannot be handled in more conventional models. These include, in particular, the causes of trade between economies with similar factor endowments, and the role of a large domestic market in encouraging exports. The basic model of this paper is one in which there are economies of scale in production and firms can costlessly differentiate their products. In this model, which is derived from recent work by Avinash Dixit and Joseph Stiglitz, equilibrium takes the form of Chamberlinian monopolistic competition: each firm has some monopoly power, but entry drives monopoly profits to zero. When two imperfectly competitive economies of this kind are allowed to trade, increasing returns produce trade and gains from trade even if the economies have identical tastes, technology, and factor endowments. This basic model of trade is presented in Section I. It is closely related to a model I have developed elsewhere; in this paper a somewhat more restrictive formulation of demand is used to make the analysis in later sections easier. The rest of the paper is concerned with two extensions of the basic model. In Section II, I examine the effect of transportation costs, and show that countries with larger domestic markets will, other things equal, have higher wage rates. Section III then deals with "home market" effects on trade patterns. It provides a formal justification for the commonly made argument that countries will tend to export those goods for which they have relatively large domestic markets. This paper makes no pretense of generality. The models presented rely on extremely restrictive assumptions about cost and utility. Nonetheless, it is to be hoped that the paper provides some useful insights into those aspects of international trade which simply cannot be treated in our usual models.
Abstract: This paper develops a simple, general equilibrium model of noncomparative advantage trade. Trade is driven by economies of scale, which are internal to firms. Because of the scale economies, markets are imperfectly competitive. Nonetheless, one can show that trade, and gains from trade, will occur, even between countries with identical tastes, technology, and factor endowments.
Abstract: A dynamic stochastic model for a competitive industry is developed in which entry, exit, and the growth of firms' output and employment is determined. The paper extends long-run industry equilibrium theory to account for entry, exit, and heterogeneity in the size and growth rate of firms. Conditions under which there is entry and exit in the long run are developed. Cross sectional implications and distributions of profits and value of firms are derived. Comparative statics on the equilibrium size distribution and turnover rates are analyzed. Copyright 1992 by The Econometric Society.
Abstract: A growing body of empirical work has documented the superior performance characteristics of exporting plants and firms relative to non-exporters. Employment, shipments, wages, productivity and capital intensity are all higher at exporters at any given moment. This paper asks whether good firms become exporters or whether exporting improves firm performance. The evidence is quite clear on one point: good firms become exporters, both growth rates and levels of success measures are higher ex-ante for exporters. The benefits of exporting for the firm are less clear. Employment growth and the probability of survival are both higher for exporters; however, productivity and wage growth is not superior, particularly over longer horizons.