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This paper combines a database on non-tariff measures (NTMs) with Morocco’s firm-level census to explore the effect of regulatory harmonization with the E.U. on firms’ outcomes. Exploiting cross-sectoral variation in the timing and extent of regulatory harmonization, we find that harmonization waves correlate with rises in productivity, with higher markups and with greater numbers of exporting firms. These effects were reinforced by an induced market-structure change: harmonization temporarily protected the Moroccan market from competition from low-end producers in other developing countries, who took time to adapt. We identify these effects through changes in both trade patterns and firm-level outcomes.
This paper investigates how large shocks on the Egyptian labor market following the 2011 uprising impacted youths’ time allocation. We estimate the effects of reported changes in the father’s working conditions on youths’ work participation and school enrollment in bivariate probit models, using the 2012 round of the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey. Our contribution lies in exploring the association between mother’s empowerment and shock transmission. We find that reported positive changes reduce daughters’ participation in intensive domestic work but only when the mother has a high level of bargaining power. This suggests that a woman’s say in household decisions can affect the reallocation of resources following a change in the family income.
This study assesses the effect of an economy’s business environment on the ability of firms to be part of a global value chain (GVC). With the use of a comprehensive firm-level dataset from the World Bank Enterprise Survey—and with a special focus on the countries of the Middle East and North Africa and East Asia and Pacific regions—the contribution of the paper is threefold: First, it provides a range of measures of the characteristics of firms that would identify a firm as likely to be integrated into a GVC. Second, it examines the association between an array of business environment variables—infrastructure; access to finance; fiscal policy; enforcement of contracts; ease of obtaining permits; extent of the informal sector; trade procedures; and firm and investor security—and the likelihood of a firm’s being integrated into a GVC. Third, we examine these effects separately for small and large firms and for sectors with high and low tariffs. Our main findings show that, in general, the number of days that are required to pay taxes, the number of procedures that are necessary to register property, and the time to export and to import have a significantly negative association with the likelihood of a firm’s integration into a GVC. More heterogeneity is observed at the regional level, at the firm size level, and for sectors with high versus low tariffs.
We propose some new stylized facts on Vietnamese exporters that emphasize firm heterogeneity in trade regimes and firm ownership. We show first that the distribution of firms' export intensities is U-shaped with more than half of Vietnamese exporters exporting more than 50% of their output. This contrasts with the export patterns in industrialized countries but is similar to the export intensity distribution for other emerging economies with strong participation in global value chains. Second, we show that export premia, evaluated in terms of both productivity and wage indexes, are positive only for Vietnamese exporters involved primarily in ordinary trade, and that processing exporters exhibit lower productivity indexes and pay lower wages than their non-exporting counterparts. This pattern is more pronounced among the group of foreign-owned firms in Vietnam compared to the group of domestic firms and is in line with previous findings for China.
This paper investigates the biological standard of living in the Philippines toward the end of Spanish rule. We investigate levels, trends, and determinants of physical stature from the birth cohorts of the 1860s to the 1890s using data on 23,000 Filipino soldiers enlisted by the US military between 1901 and 1913. We estimate average heights and use province-level information for investigating the determinants of biological well-being. We find that at 159.3 cm (62.7 inches), the average height of soldiers born in the mid-1870s was very short even for the time. The low biological standard of living observed in late nineteenth-century Philippines was not due to the tropical disease environment alone since greater heights were recorded for the same period in other parts of Asia with a similar climate. The results also indicate a decline of more than 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) in the height of soldiers born between the early 1870s and the late 1880s. This decline occurred at a time when there was an expansion of commercial activity in cash crop production for export. Heights did not regain the level of the 1870s until the late 1930s and early 1940s.
In Egypt, diarrhoeal diseases remain the main cause of mortality among young children, although the percentage of households with an “improved” access to water, according to the definition used by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is very high. This article seeks to shed light on this paradox, by better identifying the populations affected by problems of access to water, taking into account three dimensions—the time it takes to access a source of water, daily cut-offs and behaviour with respect to storage—and by applying alternative matching estimators to estimate the effects of defective water access on child diarrhoea. It is found that children whose families are identified as having a water access problem through the use of broader-based definitions have a greater likelihood of contracting diarrhoeal diseases. This article, thus, shows that the mortality of children in Egypt could be further reduced by improving households' access to water.
We investigate the impact of host-country risk on the expatriation strategies of multinational firms, using data on Japanese subsidiary firms in manufacturing industries in 13 host countries in Asia. We find that country risk is negatively correlated with the degree of expatriation and that, rather than host-country risk, firm-specific factors (particularly capital intensity, ownership share of parent firms in subsidiaries and the age of the venture) explain most of the variation in the degree to which subsidiaries rely on Japanese expatriates. Contrary to previous studies, the capital intensity of production is a key explanatory firm-specific variable that correlates positively with the degree of expatriation. Japanese multinational companies do not rely on expatria127=tes to off-set host-country risk, but to mitigate risk to parent investment in subsidiaries.
This article has a dual aim. First, it sets out to underline a learning-by-exporting effect in Spanish firms between 1991 and 2002. It further seeks to outline the conditions allowing firms to benefit from these spillover effects. Using a propensity score matching method, a group of firms having entered the export market (treatment group) is compared with a similar group of non-exporting firms (control group), and difference-in-differences regressions are carried out. The results show a cumulative productivity differential of 32% for the first four years of exporting, with continuous improvement in productivity. After three years of exporting, productivity gain is still approximately 10%. This study shows that increases in capacity utilisation and competitive pressure from foreign markets are insufficient to explain this causal link between exporting and total factor productivity (TFP). It is thus possible to deduce the presence of a learning-by-exporting effect, benefiting firms with sufficiently qualified employees and which are already engaged in international relations (due to foreign suppliers and/or foreign equity participation).
This paper estimates the effect of the decision to import intermediate goods and capital equipment on Total Factor Productivity (TFP) at the firm level on a panel of Spanish firms (19912002). We use two alternative approaches. In the first, we estimate TFP and apply a diffindiff estimator with a control group constructed by propensityscore matching. In the second, direct method, we estimate TFP with imported inputs as a state variable in one stage. Both approaches show that the effect of a firm's decision to source intermediates and capital equipment abroad on its TFP depends critically on its capacity to absorb technology, measured by the proportion of skilled labour.
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