Processing Trade, Productivity and Prices: Evidence from a Chinese Production Survey (Online Seminar)
by Yao Amber Li, HKUST

Wednesday, 29 April, 2020 | 3:30-5:00pm Beijing Time | Online


In this paper, we use a detailed production survey covering a large subset of firms in the Chinese manufacturing industry to estimate both revenue and physical productivity and relate our measurements to firms’ trade activity. We find that Chinese exporters for largely export oriented products like leather shoes or shirts appear to be less efficient than firms only involved on the domestic market based on the standard revenue productivity measure. However, we show strong positive export premium when we instead consider physical productivity. The simple and intuitive explanation of our results is that exporters charge on average lower prices. We focus more particularly on the role of processing trade and find that price differences are especially large for firms involved in this type of contractual arrangements.