Type
Working paper
Titre
The Comparative Advantage of Firms
Dans
Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers
Auteur(s)
BOEHM Johannes - Département d'économie (Auteur)
- Centre for Economic Performance (Auteur)
MORROW John - King‘s College London [London] (Auteur)
Éditeur
Paris : Département d'économie de Sciences Po
Collection
Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2019-07
Mots clés
Multiproduct firms, Firm capabilities, Vertical input linkages, Comparative advantage, Economies of scope, Size-based policies
Résumé
EN
Multiproduct firms dominate production, and their product turnover contributes substantially to aggregate growth. Theories propose that multiproduct firms grow by diversifying into products which need the same know-how or capabilities, but are less clear on what these capabilities are. Input output tables show firms co-produce in industries that share intermediate inputs, suggesting input capabilities drive multiproduct production patterns. We provide evidence for this in Indian manufacturing: the similarity of a firm’s input mix to an industry’s input mix predicts entry into that industry. We identify the direction of causality from the removal of size-based entry barriers in input markets which made firms more likely to enter industries that were similar in input use to their initial input mix. We rationalize this finding with a model of industry choice and economies of scope to estimate the importance of input capabilities in determining comparative advantage. Complementarities driven by input capabilities make a firm on average 5% (and up to 15%) more likely to produce in an industry. Entry barriers in input markets constrained the comparative advantage of firms and were equivalent to a 10.5 percentage point tariff on inputs.

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