Journal Article

Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants

Nina Pavcnik

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 69, issue 1, pages 245-276
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-937X.00205
Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants

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This paper empirically investigates the effects of liberalized trade on plant productivity in the case of Chile. Chile presents an interesting setting to study this relationship since it underwent a massive trade liberalization that significantly exposed its plants to competition from abroad during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Methodologically, I approach this question in two steps. In the first step, I estimate a production function to obtain a measure of plant productivity. I estimate the production function semiparametrically to correct for the presence of selection and simultaneity biases in the estimates of the input coefficients required to construct a productivity measure. I explicitly incorporate plant exit in the estimation to correct for the selection problem induced by liquidated plants. These methodological aspects are important in obtaining a reliable plant-level productivity measure based on consistent estimates of the input coefficients. In the second step, I identify the impact of trade on plants' productivity in a regression framework allowing variation in productivity over time and across traded- and nontraded-goods sectors. Using plant-level panel data on Chilean manufacturers, I find evidence of within plant productivity improvements that can be attributed to a liberalized trade for the plants in the import-competing sector. In many cases, aggregate productivity improvements stem from the reshuffling of resources and output from less to more efficient producers.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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