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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.
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.
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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Abstract The aim of this paper is to examine the sensitivity of total factor productivity (TFP) to foreign competition in the case of a European country. Using the Olley and Pakes method, we calculate the TFP of Spanish manufacturing firms and study the impact of EU tariffs and the presence of foreign products and imports on TFP at the firm level. Applying the System-GMM method, we find that TFP is negatively impacted by European tariffs, whereas competition in the form of the increased presence of foreign products in the domestic market and firm imports leads to improvements in the TFP. Moreover, these two effects are complementary. We also find evidence of important asymmetries among firms depending on their involvement in foreign markets. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This work deals with the various methods of measuring total factor productivity (TFP) at the firm level (index numbers, data envelopment analysis, stochastic frontier, semi-parametric method and generalized method of moments). These methods are investigated both from a theoretical and empirical viewpoint with a panel of Turkish firms in order to highlight their similarities and dissimilarities. Our main results indicate that these methods do not estimate precisely the same components included in the TFP concept. Thus, the appropriate choice of the method appears to depend firstly on what we want to identify and secondly on the characteristics of data such as measurement errors and technology heterogeneity.
The aim of this work is to study the self-selection hypothesis on export markets assuming, firstly, that it is an exogenous process (random self-selection) and, secondly, that it is an endogenous process (conscious self-selection). Econometric estimates confirm recent empirical results according to which exporters are larger and more productive, and are involved in foreign markets. We also find strong evidence supporting the idea that self-selection is a conscious process. Thereby, firms increase their productivity with the aim of becoming exporters.