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Chinese competition and product variety of Indian firms

Pavel Chakraborty and Michael Henry

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2019, vol. 47, issue 2, 367-395

Abstract: Using detailed firm-product-year data across manufacturing industries in India, and exploiting the exogenous nature of China’s entry into the WTO in 2001, we investigate the link between the impact of import penetration from China on the product variety of Indian manufacturing firms. We find: (i) robust and significant effects of product drop, with the effect coming only from competitive pressure in the domestic market; (ii) robust evidence of product drop or ‘creative destruction’ only for firms belonging to the lower-half of the size distribution; (iii) firms drop their peripheral/marginal products and concentrate on the core ones; and (iv) the result is strongest for firms producing intermediate goods. For an average Indian manufacturing firm, a 10 percentage point increase in India’s Chinese share of imports in the domestic market reduces the product scope of firms by 1.7–4.4%. In contrast, we find positive effects on product scope when firms are importing intermediate goods. We also find evidence of significant productivity effects and within-firm factor reallocation. Our results are consistent to a battery of robustness checks and IV estimation.

Keywords: Chinese competition; Product drop; Domestic market; Small firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F1 F14 F61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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