Working Papers

International Finance Discussion Papers #1337

Finalist for the 2023 Distinguished CESifo Affiliate Award

Finalist for the WTO Essay Award for Young Economists 2020

27th FREIT-EIIT Best Graduate Student Paper

Econometric Society Winter School Best Paper in Applied Economics 2020

Abstract: This paper studies a model of heterogeneous importers that features static cross-country interdependence and dynamic dependence through sunk costs. Using data on Chinese chemicals producers, I find that source countries are complementary in the production. Furthermore, I estimate the sunk costs of importing using a partial identification approach under the revealed preferences assumption. The existence of cross-country interdependence and sunk costs implies that temporary trade shocks in one market can have long-lasting externalities on other markets through firm-level decisions. 

Export Market Expansion, Labor-Market Power, and Labor Shares: Evidence from a Small Open Economy 

(with Devashish Mitra and Hoang Pham


Abstract: Using Vietnamese firm-level data from 2000 to 2010, we measure firm-level distortionary wedges between equilibrium marginal revenue products of labor (MRPL) and wages. We use a nonparametric production function approach and examine the impacts of an export shock on such measured distortions. We find substantial wedges between equilibrium  MRPL and wages, suggesting that workers get paid roughly 45% of their MRPL. Following the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) that significantly improved market access for Vietnamese manufacturers, Vietnamese firms in industries exposed more to US tariff reductions see relatively faster employment growth, faster increase in labor share, and faster decline in their MRPL-wage distortionary wedge. In addition, the decline in the above labor market distortion accounts for 60% of the increase in labor share. The comprehensive nature of Vietnamese firm-level data allows us to make two further contributions. First, we exploit consistent information on firm-level gender composition of employment to measure the MRPL-wage distortionary wedges separately for male and female workers. We find that the average distortion is 44% higher for female relative to male workers and the reduction in overall labor market distortion attributable to the BTA is mainly driven by the declining distortion for female workers. Second, we exploit data on other formal sectors of the economy to investigate whether or not the BTA exposure in manufacturing spills over to those sectors via firms' local labor market linkages. We find evidence of spillovers in the impact on employment, female employment shares, and labor shares.

Anticipation Effect of the TPP on Vietnamese Manufacturing Firms

Abstract: Using a firm-level dataset between 2010 and 2017, I study whether Vietnamese firms adjusted their productivity in anticipation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I find that an expected reduction of 10 percentage points in export tariffs leads to a 4% increase in productivity in 2016, the year that the TPP was signed and highly anticipated. However, an expected reduction of 10 percentage points in import tariffs causes a 3% decrease in productivity. The results are consistent with the notion that improved access to export markets and future export revenues encourage productivity-enhancing activities, while increased foreign competition, which lowers future revenues, discourages firms from improving productivity. 

Work in Progress

Trade Wars and Rumors of Trade Wars: The Dynamic Effects of the U.S.-China Tariff Hikes

(with Carter Mix

The Global Costs and Benefits of Export Promotion 

(with Magnus Buus, and Joel Rodrigue

Multinational Firms' Innovation and Affiliates' Import Decisions

(with Eric Bond, Yan Ma, and Ryo Makioka

Policy Writings

(with Flora Haberkorn, Gordon Lewis,  Carter Mix, and Dylan Moore