22 research outputs found

    Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence

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    This paper examines whether importing intermediate goods improves plant performance. While addressing the issue of simultaneity of a productivity shock and decisions to import intermediates, we estimate the impact of the use of foreign intermediates on plants' productivity using plant-level Chilean manufacturing panel data. We found that the switching from being a non-importer to being an importer of foreign intermediates can improve productivity by 3.4 to 22.5 percentproductivity, imported intermediates, plant-level

    Product Churning, Reallocation, and Chinese Export Growth

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    This paper quantifies the separate contribution of idiosyncratic productivity and demand growth on aggregate Chinese exports. We develop firm, product, market and year specific measures of productivity and demand. We use these measures to document a number of novel findings that distinguish the growth of Chinese exports. First, we document that changes in demand explain nearly 78–89% of aggregate export growth, while only 11–22%of export growth is determined by productivity growth. Second, our results highlight two mechanisms which contribute significantly to aggregate export growth: the rapid reallocation of market shares towards products with growing demand, and high rates of product exit among low demand products. Investigating the mechanisms underlying these results we find that new exporters suffer demand shocks which are 66% smaller than those observed for incumbent producers in the same product market. By comparison, we find that there is only an 8% difference on average between the productivity of new and incumbent exporters.Repeating our exercise with revenue productivity reveals much smaller differences. This is largely attributed to differential movements in prices and marginal costs

    The evolving SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Africa: Insights from rapidly expanding genomic surveillance

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    INTRODUCTION Investment in Africa over the past year with regard to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) sequencing has led to a massive increase in the number of sequences, which, to date, exceeds 100,000 sequences generated to track the pandemic on the continent. These sequences have profoundly affected how public health officials in Africa have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. RATIONALE We demonstrate how the first 100,000 SARS-CoV-2 sequences from Africa have helped monitor the epidemic on the continent, how genomic surveillance expanded over the course of the pandemic, and how we adapted our sequencing methods to deal with an evolving virus. Finally, we also examine how viral lineages have spread across the continent in a phylogeographic framework to gain insights into the underlying temporal and spatial transmission dynamics for several variants of concern (VOCs). RESULTS Our results indicate that the number of countries in Africa that can sequence the virus within their own borders is growing and that this is coupled with a shorter turnaround time from the time of sampling to sequence submission. Ongoing evolution necessitated the continual updating of primer sets, and, as a result, eight primer sets were designed in tandem with viral evolution and used to ensure effective sequencing of the virus. The pandemic unfolded through multiple waves of infection that were each driven by distinct genetic lineages, with B.1-like ancestral strains associated with the first pandemic wave of infections in 2020. Successive waves on the continent were fueled by different VOCs, with Alpha and Beta cocirculating in distinct spatial patterns during the second wave and Delta and Omicron affecting the whole continent during the third and fourth waves, respectively. Phylogeographic reconstruction points toward distinct differences in viral importation and exportation patterns associated with the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants and subvariants, when considering both Africa versus the rest of the world and viral dissemination within the continent. Our epidemiological and phylogenetic inferences therefore underscore the heterogeneous nature of the pandemic on the continent and highlight key insights and challenges, for instance, recognizing the limitations of low testing proportions. We also highlight the early warning capacity that genomic surveillance in Africa has had for the rest of the world with the detection of new lineages and variants, the most recent being the characterization of various Omicron subvariants. CONCLUSION Sustained investment for diagnostics and genomic surveillance in Africa is needed as the virus continues to evolve. This is important not only to help combat SARS-CoV-2 on the continent but also because it can be used as a platform to help address the many emerging and reemerging infectious disease threats in Africa. In particular, capacity building for local sequencing within countries or within the continent should be prioritized because this is generally associated with shorter turnaround times, providing the most benefit to local public health authorities tasked with pandemic response and mitigation and allowing for the fastest reaction to localized outbreaks. These investments are crucial for pandemic preparedness and response and will serve the health of the continent well into the 21st century

    Does the use of imported intermediates increase productivity? Plant-level evidence

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    This paper examines whether importing intermediate goods improves plant performance. While addressing the issue of simultaneous productivity shocks and decisions to import intermediates, we estimate the impact foreign intermediates have on plants' productivity using plant-level Chilean manufacturing panel data. Across different estimators, we find evidence that becoming an importer of foreign intermediates improves productivity.
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