Bruno Merlevede, Angelos Theodorakopoulos, 24 January 2019

Studies of the implications of trade openness for local economies rarely address the domestic supply chain. This column examines whether indirect effects of internationalisation affect the domestic supply chain. Micro-level data for manufacturing firms across 19 EU countries, combined with input-output tables, show that domestic access to intermediate inputs that are also exported leads to higher levels of efficiency.

Chad Bown, 30 October 2018

President Trump’s protectionism has a distinctive focus on disrupting US access to global supply chains. This column reveals that the major economies had in fact begun to impose additional trade protection on intermediate inputs even prior to 2016. New barriers targeting cross-border supply chains simply arose through policies aside from headline tariffs. Some of this new protection has also already spread beyond China’s trade and begun to cover exports from other countries. These results, combined with more recent policy actions, widen the possibility of a negative protectionist impact on the global sourcing of parts and components.

Lawrence Edwards, 22 March 2017

There is a concern that international competition hurts local firms. Lawrence Edwards presents his findings on the relationship between intermediate inputs and productivity. This video was recorded at the UNU-WIDER Conference in Pretoria in December 2016.

Maria Bas, Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 14 July 2014

The rise of trade in intermediate inputs is well documented, but its role in shaping domestic economies is not yet completely understood. This column presents evidence from French firms on the effects of importing intermediate inputs. Firms importing more varieties of intermediate inputs increased their productivity and exported more varieties. Foreign inputs from the most advanced economies have the strongest effect on firm productivity, but imported inputs from all countries help raise the number of export varieties.

Shimelse Ali, Uri Dadush, 09 February 2011

Intermediate inputs – the parts and materials imported to make products for consumption domestically and abroad – are a growing force in world trade. This column argues that without better measurement of intermediate imports we run the risk of overestimating the growth effects of exports and severely underestimating the cost of protection and the crucial role that inputs play in enhancing efficiency.

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