PHBS Seminar Series: Input Prices, Productivity and Trade Dynamics: Long-run Effects of Liberalization on Chinese Paint Manufacturers

We develop a dynamic structural model to analyze the impact of input tariff liberalization on input prices, trading decisions, productivity, and firm performance. While input tariff liberalization directly affects input price benefits of importing, its impact on trade participation generates indirect benefits through additional channels, such as productivity improvements and complementarity between importing and exporting. To disentangle these effects, our model separately measures importing's effect on intermediate input prices and productivity. We apply the model to examine the reaction of Chinese paint manufacturers to China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). We find a mild short-term effect of input tariff liberalization in the industry. The effect is amplified in the long run by induced trade participation, resulting in even higher aggregate productivity and lower input prices. Overall, this effect increases the average present firm value by 2.3 percent.