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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Development Economics, Volume 62, Issue 1, June 2000, Pages 55–83
This paper examines the dynamic impact of trade liberalization on productivity, market competition, and scale efficiency using a panel data of 36 Korean manufacturing industries over nine subperiods from 1966 to 1988. By accounting for both imperfect competition and non-constant returns, trade liberalization is shown to improve productivity performance, increase competition and promote scale efficiency. Quota protection (QR) had a more significant impact than price protection measures on market structure (as reflected in price-marginal cost markups and scale efficiency), vindicating a well-known theoretical proposition about non-equivalence of different trade policy (TP) instruments in imperfect competition.
The growth experience of Korea and other East Asian countries, commonly referred to as “the East Asian Miracle”, has been a subject of lively and often contentious debate in the social sciences. Especially now, as governments throughout Asia seek to cope with the after-effects of the economic crisis of 1997, there is a growing number of skeptics who challenge the sustainability of East Asian growth and even question whether the vaunted “miracle” of East Asia had not been just illusory. The recent “failures” of Asian economies, however, does not diminish the need to understand the source of the past “miracle”. In fact, much of the answer to Asia's recent economic failure is likely to be found in our clear understanding of the reason for the success in the past. Hence, the search for the taproot of Asia's “miracle” is just as relevant today as it was before the crisis in understanding the process of sustained economic development. The debate over East Asia's seemingly miraculous economic development has mainly centered on two related issues: the relationship between trade policy (TP) and total factor productivity (TFP); and the relative importance of the latter in explaining the “Asian miracle”. The key reason for the debate on the first issue is precisely that there is no clear and general presumption regarding the dynamic benefits of trade liberalization. For one thing, until recently there has been simply lack of rigorous theoretical models as to how trade and growth could be dynamically linked. The traditional arguments for export-led growth often included casual and anecdotal stories about how the rigors of international trade enhanced productivity growth by promoting innovation, cost cutting, and acquisition of new technology. Despite the intuitive appeal of these arguments, their analytical underpinnings were not always firm.1 For example, export-led-growth advocates asserted that tariffs encourage entrepreneurial slack in import-competing industries because they raise these industries' relative prices. But by the same logic, they must reduce slack in export-oriented industries. The net effect of trade protection on efficiency was therefore simply not clear.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In light of much debate about the growth experience of East Asian countries, this study has studied the significance of the relationship between trade policy and productivity growth using data from 36 Korean manufacturing industries. This study reveals that TFP estimates based on the standard assumption of perfect competition and constant returns are biased and show a spurious relationship with changes in trade regimes. When both imperfect competition and non-constant returns are taken into account, the growth accounting approach yields estimates of TFP growth that are quite low. During the 1966–1988 period, the sectoral TFP growth rates averaged about 0.5% per annum, explaining only 3% of 17.9% output growth in Korean manufacturing industries. This fact seriously challenges the common theoretical presumption of placing productivity performance in the center of long-run growth. Perhaps, the real puzzle about Korean development is how it managed to invest at such a sustained and high level. The finding of low productivity growth does not however imply that we can dismiss the relevance of trade liberalization in promoting productivity growth. Even though trade liberalization is found have a positive impact on productivity performance, the productivity increase was not significant because the extent of trade liberalization was not substantial enough in Korea. Furthermore, adverse macro conditions at times masked the positive effects of trade reform. Despite these considerations, the series of trade liberalizing efforts since the 1966–1968 period are estimated to have increased the TFP growth by about 2 percentage points by the 1985–1988 period. Moreover, trade liberalization is found to have increased competition and promoted scale efficiency.