China's export boom and the effects of trade libreralisation on firm behaviour: evidence from micro data

Wang, Zheng (2012) China's export boom and the effects of trade libreralisation on firm behaviour: evidence from micro data. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This thesis contains three self-contained studies on firm bahaviour during a period of trade liberalisation and export boom in China.

In Chapter 1, we describe the general institutional background of the Chinese export boom from 2000 to 2007, look into the structure of this growth by examining the sources of the changes in export value, and give the outline of each core chapter.

In Chapter 2, we use a new linked firm-product data to measure the domestic value-added and technology intensity of Chinese exports over the period 2000-2007. We re-evaluate the extent of value-added in China's exports, using a modification of a method proposed by Hummels et al. (2001) which takes into account the prevalence of processing firms. In addition, we provide new estimates of the skill- and technology-intensity of China's exports. Our estimates of value-added suggest that, in 2006, the domestic content of China's exports was below 50%, much lower than previously estimated. We also show that Chinese exports have become increasingly skill- and technology-intensive, but this intensity is lower when the exports are evaluated by domestic value-added than by final value.

Chapter 3 looks into the effect of the elimination of the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) quotas in 2005 on prices of products exported by Chinese firms to the U.S.. Using transaction-level customs data from China over the period 2000-2006, we find that the MFA quota removal reduced average export prices by about 30%, which is compatible with other findings in the literature. A distinguishing feature of this study is that our data allows us to examine the sources of the price reductions. Evidence also shows that more than half of the price drop was due to firm entry and that the MFA had a smaller effect on the pricing behaviour of state-owned firms.

As an extension of Chapter 3, Chapter 4 presents evidence on how multi-product firms adjusted their product structure as triggered by the MFA quota elimination. We find that the removal of MFA quotas induced firms to abruptly expand their product scope by as much as one third, and meanwhile caused firms to reduce the share of their core product in export sales by nearly 10 percentage points as a result of a more diversified export product mix. While these effects are obvious for private and foreign-owned firms, they are very insignificant for state-owned firms, probably due to the fact that the latter were not constrained as much by the quotas because of their closer political connections to the quota allocation authorities. Our evidence also suggests that an increased weight was placed on the U.S. market relative to the Japanese market within exporting firms after the quotas were lifted, highlighting the trade barriers created by U.S. quotas.

Chapter 5 summarises the main findings of the thesis and discusses our future research directions.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Bernhofen, D.
Upward, R.
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Economics
ID Code:2543
Deposited By:Dr Zheng Wang
Deposited On:15 Aug 2012 14:38
Last Modified:17 Aug 2012 08:50

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