Business Intelligence

Import Competition From And Outsourcing To China: A Curse Or Blessing For Firms?

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Executive Summary

The authors use Belgian manufacturing firm-level data over the period 1996- 2007 to analyze the impact of imports from different origins on firm growth, exit, and skill upgrading. For this purpose they use both industry-level and firm-level imports by country of origin and distinguish between firm-level outsourcing of final versus intermediate goods. Results indicate that China is different from both other low-wage and OECD countries. Industry-level import competition and firm-level outsourcing to China reduce firm employment growth and induce skill upgrading.

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