15 research outputs found

    The Effect of Exchange Rate Movements on Heterogeneous Plants: A Quantile Regression Analysis

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    In this paper, we examine how the effect of movements in the real exchange rate on manufacturing plants depends on the plant’s placement within the productivity distribution. Appreciations of the local currency expose domestic plants to more competition from abroad as export opportunities shrink and import competition intensifies. As a result, smaller less productive plants are forced from the market, which truncates the lower end of the productivity distribution. For surviving plants, appreciations can lead to a reduction in plant size, which, in the presence of scale economies, can lower productivity. We examine these mechanisms using quantile regression, which allows for the study of the conditional distribution of industry productivity. Using plant-level data that covers the entire Canadian manufacturing sector from 1984 to 1997, we find that many industries exhibit a downward sloping quantile regression curve, meaning that movements in the exchange rate do, indeed, have distributional effects on productivity.Productivity; Exchange rates; Market structure and pricing

    The use and teaching of discourse markers in Hong Kong: students' production and teachers' perspectives

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    The present study attempts to investigate discourse markers from a functional and attitudinal perspective. Based on the pedagogical sub-corpus from CANCODE and the audio-recordings of class discussion of 49 secondary pupils in Hong Kong, Part I explores the roles discourse markers play in spoken discourse on a contextual basis and compares the different use of discourse markers by British and Hong Kong speakers of English using quantitative and qualitative methods. Discourse markers are found to serve as useful contextual coordinates to structure and organise speech on interpersonal (marking shared knowledge, attitudes and responses), referential (indicating textual relationships such as cause, contrast, coordination, digression, consequence, etc. ), structural (summarising opinions, marking sequence, opening and closing of topics, transition and continuation of topics) and cognitive (denoting hesitation and thinking process, marking reformulation, self- correction or elaboration, and assessing the listener's knowledge about the utterances) realms, bearing a probabilistic relationship with the various role(s) on a multifunctional dimension in pedagogic discourse. Functionally, non-native speakers are found to display a highly restricted use of discourse markers, especially those interactive ones (e.g. initial and, yeah, you know, ), whereas native speakers tend to use discourse markers more for a variety of pragmatic functions. Part II contains a questionnaire survey (N=132) and an interview study (N=3) of Hong Kong teachers. Reliability test and factor analysis were conducted In the quantitative part. The results indicate a very positive perception of the pragmatic and pedagogic value of discourse markers by the teachers where students at intermediate-advanced level are challenged to acquire them for both receptive and productive purposes. The findings also reveal teachers' preference to conform to an exonormative speaking model and their less favourable attitude towards the Hong Kong variety. They are not certain regarding the representation of discourse markers in the existing teaching materials and their actual teaching. The study has implications for second language teaching in five areas: (1) introducing discourse markers as a communication strategy; (2) developing learners' linguistic awareness of discourse markers as an instructional strategy; (3) utilising corpus-based research for materials development; (4) equipping teachers with a World English perspective; and (5) creating space for the development of Hong Kong English to prepare learners to communicate in a dynamic linguistic world

    The use and teaching of discourse markers in Hong Kong: students' production and teachers' perspectives

    Get PDF
    The present study attempts to investigate discourse markers from a functional and attitudinal perspective. Based on the pedagogical sub-corpus from CANCODE and the audio-recordings of class discussion of 49 secondary pupils in Hong Kong, Part I explores the roles discourse markers play in spoken discourse on a contextual basis and compares the different use of discourse markers by British and Hong Kong speakers of English using quantitative and qualitative methods. Discourse markers are found to serve as useful contextual coordinates to structure and organise speech on interpersonal (marking shared knowledge, attitudes and responses), referential (indicating textual relationships such as cause, contrast, coordination, digression, consequence, etc. ), structural (summarising opinions, marking sequence, opening and closing of topics, transition and continuation of topics) and cognitive (denoting hesitation and thinking process, marking reformulation, self- correction or elaboration, and assessing the listener's knowledge about the utterances) realms, bearing a probabilistic relationship with the various role(s) on a multifunctional dimension in pedagogic discourse. Functionally, non-native speakers are found to display a highly restricted use of discourse markers, especially those interactive ones (e.g. initial and, yeah, you know, ), whereas native speakers tend to use discourse markers more for a variety of pragmatic functions. Part II contains a questionnaire survey (N=132) and an interview study (N=3) of Hong Kong teachers. Reliability test and factor analysis were conducted In the quantitative part. The results indicate a very positive perception of the pragmatic and pedagogic value of discourse markers by the teachers where students at intermediate-advanced level are challenged to acquire them for both receptive and productive purposes. The findings also reveal teachers' preference to conform to an exonormative speaking model and their less favourable attitude towards the Hong Kong variety. They are not certain regarding the representation of discourse markers in the existing teaching materials and their actual teaching. The study has implications for second language teaching in five areas: (1) introducing discourse markers as a communication strategy; (2) developing learners' linguistic awareness of discourse markers as an instructional strategy; (3) utilising corpus-based research for materials development; (4) equipping teachers with a World English perspective; and (5) creating space for the development of Hong Kong English to prepare learners to communicate in a dynamic linguistic world

    The association of RANTES polymorphism with severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong and Beijing Chinese

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Chemokines play important roles in inflammation and antiviral action. We examined whether polymorphisms of <it>RANTES, IP-10 </it>and <it>Mig </it>affect the susceptibility to and outcome of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We tested the polymorphisms of <it>RANTES, IP-10 </it>and <it>Mig </it>for their associations with SARS in 495 Hong Kong Chinese SARS patients and 578 controls. Then we tried to confirm the results in 356 Beijing Chinese SARS patients and 367 controls.</p> <p>Results</p> <p><it>RANTES </it>-28 G allele was associated with SARS susceptibility in Hong Kong Chinese (<it>P </it>< 0.0001, OR = 2.80, 95%CI:2.11–3.71). Individuals with <it>RANTES </it>-28 CG and GG genotypes had a 3.28-fold (95%CI:2.32–4.64) and 3.06-fold (95%CI:1.47–6.39) increased risk of developing SARS respectively (<it>P </it>< 0.0001). This -28 G allele conferred risk of death in a gene-dosage dependent manner (<it>P </it>= 0.014) with CG and GG individuals having a 2.12-fold (95% CI: 1.11–4.06) and 4.01-fold (95% CI: 1.30–12.4) increased risk. For the replication of <it>RANTES </it>data in Beijing Chinese, the -28 G allele was not associated with susceptibility to SARS. However, -28 CG (OR = 4.27, 95%CI:1.64–11.1) and GG (OR = 3.34, 95%CI:0.37–30.7) were associated with admission to intensive care units or death due to SARS (<it>P </it>= 0.011).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p><it>RANTES </it>-28 G allele plays a role in the pathogenesis of SARS.</p

    Are FDI in China and Parent Firm Exports Substitutes or Complements? An Empirical Study of Taiwanese Manufacturing Firms

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    近年來台商大舉至國外投資, 其中以投資中國為最大宗。台商至中國投資, 對母公司的營運以及供應國外市場方式的影響係一值得研究的議題。本文主要是針對台商至中國投資後對母公司外銷金額究竟是有替代或促進的效果進行探討。我們利用1992年至2006年間上市公司核准赴中國投資項目及實行金額、財務報表與公司外銷相互連結的資料進行實證分析, 在這段期間上市公司至中國的投資急劇增加, 我們將檢視在中國的投資對母公司在台灣的外銷是替代或互補關係。我們分別利用三種計量模型: 固定效果的追蹤資料迴歸 (panel regressions with fixed effects), panel Tobit 與動態追蹤資料模型 (dynamic panel model)。實證結果大致相同, 發現上市公司至中國的投資將減少母公司的外銷金額, 換言之, 對中國投資與外銷金額有替代的關係。值得注意的是, 不論是電子業或非電子業廠商皆有類似的結果 --- 然而電子業廠商具有密集生產網絡及近年大量投資中國之特點。此外, 結果的穩健性不受實證模型選擇的影響。In recent years, an increasing number of Taiwanese firms have invested overseas and the foreign direct investment (FDI) has gone predominately to China. With growing importance of operations in China, it is essential to understand how FDI in China affects operation of the parent firms and their mode of serving foreign markets. This paper addresses this issue by empirically investigating whether FDI in China displaces or promotes parent firms' exports. By using a unique firm-level data set that links approved investment projects and realized amount of FDI in China to financial statements and exports data of firms listed on Taiwan Stock Exchange from 1992 to 2006, a period of sharp increase in FDI in China, we are able to examine whether FDI in China substitutes or complements exports from home. We adopt three alternative empirical models: panel regressions with fixed effects, a panel Tobit model and a dynamic panel model. We find that FDI in China reduces parent firms' exports, suggesting a substitutive relationship. Interestingly enough, the effect pertains to firms in both non-electronics industries and the electronics industry -- which is characterized by dense production networks and surging investment in China in recent years. The results are robust to choice of empirical models

    Exchange Rates, Cross-Border Travel, and Retailers: Theory and Empirics

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    This paper provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of the effects of nominal exchange rate movements on cross-border travel by consumers and on retail firms' sales. We develop a search-theoretic model of price-setting heterogeneous retailers and traveling consumers who face nominal exchange rate shocks. These exchange rate shocks act as both a supply side shock for retailers though imported input prices and a demand side shock though their effect on the propensity for consumers to cross the border and shop at foreign retail stores. The model provides predictions regarding relationships between rm and regional characteristics and the magnitude of the effects of nominal exchange rate fuctuations and resulting cross-border travel activity on retailers' sales. We use our theoretical framework to motivate an empirical methodology applied to Canadian rm and consumer level data from 1987 to 2007. Our findings indicate that an appreciation of the Canadian dollar substantially increases cross border travel which in turn has a significant negative effect on the sales of Canadian retailers. These effects diminish with the distance of the retailer from the border and with the shopping opportunities available at relevant US destinations. Using counterfactual experiments, we quantify the effects of more restrictive border controls after September 2001 which discouraged cross-border trips and reduced retailer losses from cross-border shopping as well as the effects of increased duty free allowances which raised cross-border trips and reduced retailer sales

    The impact of real exchange rate movements on firm performance: A case study of Taiwanese manufacturing firms

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    Taiwan experienced large depreciations of its currency, the New Taiwan (NT) dollar, in the late 1990s. The largest real depreciation, 13 per cent, occurred during the East Asian Financial Crisis. Since Taiwan was subjected neither to the economic turmoil of the crisis itself nor to the subsequent reforms, its experience provides a good opportunity for studying the effects of exchange rate changes on firm performance. This paper empirically examines the exchange rate effects on firm exports, domestic sales, total sales, value-added and productivity, by using data on firms listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange merged with customs trade data covering the period of 1992-2000. Our findings indicate that the real depreciation of the NT dollar led to an increase in exports, domestic sales, total sales, value-added, and productivity. In addition, we find that the productivity improvement induced by real currency depreciation may be a result of firm scale expansion.Exchange rate Imperfect competition Scale economies Taiwan

    Firm survival, performance, and the exchange rate

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    This paper examines the impact of exchange rate movements on firm survival and sales. We exploit detailed Canadian firm-level data from 1986 to 1997, a period in which the Canadian dollar appreciated approximately 30% in the first six years and depreciated 30% in the later six years. We find that survival and sales are negatively associated with appreciations in the Canadian dollar. The impact on survival is less pronounced for more productive firms. The magnitude of the impact of exchange rate changes on firm survival and sales was comparable to the effect of CUSFTA-mandated tariff changes.

    Firm Dynamics in Retail Trade: The Response of Canadian Retailers to Exchange Rate Shocks

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    We use comprehensive rm-level data to estimate the responses of heterogeneous Canadian retail firms to real exchange rate movements. Our analysis focuses on a period characterized by large fuctuations in the Canadian dollar, providing an opportunity to quantify both intensive and extensive margin responses in retail industries to real exchange rate shocks and to examine how those responses differ across firms, locations, and sub-industries. Our results indicate that a real Canadian currency appre- ciation significantly reduces a retailer's sales, employment, and prots. The strength of this negative effect is decreasing in the distance of a retailer from the US-Canada border. We do not find evidence of a strong relationship between real exchange rate movements and the number of operating firms nor the probability of rm survival. These findings are consistent with the view that a real Canadian dollar appreciation increases cross-border shopping by Canadians, resulting in a negative demand shock for Canadian retailers, and the dominant response by firms to such a shock is through the intensive margin
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