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讨论稿No. E2012002: China’s Firm-Level Processing Trade: Trends, Characteristics, and Productivity

发布日期:2012-05-30 10:54    来源:北京大学国家发展研究院

Miaojie Yu[1] and Wei Tian[2]

No. E2012002    April 10, 2012



This paper provides a comprehensive overview of China’s processing trade using highly disaggregated 2010 transaction-level data. By highlighting the key role of processing trade in China’s foreign trade, we argue that various free-trade zones have served as important instruments in boosting processing trade. We then explore various characteristics of processing imports from both industry-level and firm-level perspectives: origin countries of imports, main products, transport modes, entry ports, consumption destinations, quality of commodities, and scope of processing trade. A careful estimation of firm-level total factor productivity using the Olley–Pakes approach suggests that processing firms are less productive than non-processing firms. We also contribute to the literature by offering an efficient way of matching firm-level production data with transaction-level trade data, a rather challenging task due to data format restrictions.

Keywords: Processing Trade, Export Processing Zones, Quality of Products, Firm Scope, Total Factor Productivity, Transaction-Level Trade Data, Firm-Level Evidence


JEL Code:  F1, L1, O1


[1] Corresponding Author, China Center for Economic Research, National School of Development, PekingUniversity, Beijing ,100871, China. Tel: (+86)10-6275-3109; Email: .

[2] Department of Applied Economics, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, .

No. E2012002