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  • P-ISSN 1738-656X

한국개발연구. Vol. 29, No. 3, December 2007, pp. 75-109

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Tariff Reduction and Within-Plant Productivity: Micro-evidence from Korean Manufacturing

Si wook Lee

Author & Article History

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This paper empirically investigates the effects of import tariff on within-plant productivity growth in Korean manufacturing, using the detailed plant-level longitudinal data of the Korea Census of Manufacturers for the period of 1993-2003. Our main findings are as follows: First, the productivity changes of Korean manufacturing for the period under analysis were mostly induced by within-plant productivity gains, rather than within-industry and/or between-industry resource reallocations. Second, after controlling for firm-specific heterogeneity, the estimation results indicate that lowering tariff-barriers has a positive impact on within-plant TFP growth. We interpret the results in a way that trade liberalization through the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers heightens the competitive pressure, which in turn creates incentives to reduce production and managerial inefficiency and to invest more on innovative activities. Third, we also find that plant productivity growth from reducing tariff barriers is particularly conspicuous within a year after tariff changes, which implies that plants are quickly adjusting to heightened import competition. On the other hand, our results show that the trade effect on employment creation proceeds relatively slow.


수입관세(import tariff), 무역자유화(trade liberalization)

JEL Code

F15, O4

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