Business adaptation and adjustment

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  • Articles and reports: 11-622-M2012024
    Geography: Canada

    This paper looks at annual changes in Canadian business sector employment from 2001 to 2009. This period encompasses an expansionary phase (2001 to 2008), followed by a recession (2008/2009). Firm-level data are used to decompose yearly net employment change into gross employment creation and destruction, which makes it possible to measure the size of total annual employment reallocation. These measures of employment turnover are compared across industries and firm size classes.

    Release date: 2012-06-27

  • Articles and reports: 11F0027M2012078
    Geography: Canada

    This paper asks how market expansion contributes to productivity growth. It investigates whether entry to both new international markets and new domestic markets is associated with greater productivity growth. It also examines whether exit from export markets is necessarily associated with deteriorating performance or whether it too can lead to success when associated with movements to new markets. Finally, the paper examines the strategy of firms that move to new markets after they withdraw from export markets in order to examine the differences that set them apart from their counterparts that do not find themselves able to adapt because they simply withdraw to their home domestic markets.

    Release date: 2012-03-20

  • Articles and reports: 11F0027M2010063
    Geography: Canada

    This paper examines how trade liberalization and fluctuations in real exchange rates affect export-market entry/exit and plant-level productivity. It uses the experience of Canadian manufacturing plants over three separate periods that featuring different rates of bilateral tariff reduction and differing movements in bilateral real exchange rates. The patterns of entry and exit responses as well as the productivity outcomes differ markedly in the three periods. Consistent with much of the recent literature, the paper finds that plants self-select into export markets-that is, more efficient plants are more likely to enter and less likely to exit export markets. The reverse also occurs: entrants to export markets improve their productivity performance relative to the population from which they originated and plants that stay in export markets do better than comparable plants that exited, lending support to the thesis that exporting boosts productivity. Finally, we find that overall market access conditions, including real exchange rate trends, significantly affect the extent of productivity gains to be derived from participating in export markets. In particular, the increase in the value of the Canadian dollar during the post-2002 period almost completely offset the productivity growth advantages that new export-market participants would otherwise have enjoyed.

    Release date: 2010-06-25

  • Articles and reports: 11F0027M2010061
    Geography: Canada

    We examine the simultaneous effects of real-exchange-rate movements and of tariff reductions on plant death in Canadian manufacturing industries between 1979 and 1996. We find that both currency appreciation and tariff cuts increase the probability of plant death, but that tariff reductions have a much greater effect. Consistent with the implications of recent international-trade models involving heterogeneous firms, we further find that the effect of exchange-rate movements and tariff cuts on exit are heterogeneous across plants - particularly pronounced among least efficient plants. Our results reveal multi-dimensional heterogeneity that current models featuring one-dimensional heterogeneity (efficiency differences among plants) cannot fully explain. There are significant and substantial differences between exporters and non-exporters, and between domestic- and foreign- controlled plants. Exporters and foreign-owned plants have much lower failure rates; however, their survival is more sensitive to changes in tariffs and real exchange rates, whether differences in their efficiency levels are controlled or not.

    Release date: 2010-04-14

  • Articles and reports: 11-624-M2008020
    Geography: Canada

    This paper presents the long-term trends in outsourcing and offshoring across Canadian industries.

    Release date: 2008-10-27

  • Articles and reports: 11F0027M2008055
    Geography: Canada

    This paper has three main objectives. First, it presents the long-term trends in outsourcing and offshoring across Canadian industries. Second, it examines the relationship between offshoring and changes in trade patterns at the industry level. It focuses on two major drivers that some have suggested are behind the recent trends toward offshoring: globalization and technological changes associated with information and communications technologies. Third, the paper examines the economic impact of offshoring by investigating the relationship between the extent of offshoring and productivity growth, shifts to high value-added activities and changes in labour markets.

    Release date: 2008-05-23

  • Articles and reports: 11F0027M2008054
    Geography: Canada

    The paper investigates how Canadian manufacturing plants adjust to an increase in low-wage import competition by changing their commodity portfolios. At the commodity level, we distinguish between 'core' versus 'peripheral' and differentiated versus homogeneous commodities. We also account for cost and technological complementarities using input-output linkages between commodities produced by a plant. We document large commodity turnover within plants over the period from 1988 to 1996. The largest changes happened in multi-commodity plants and involved peripheral commodities. The commodities that were affected the most were those commodities that are potentially used as inputs in production of the 'core' commodity; homogeneous (rather than differentiated) commodities; and, commodities with relatively weak input complementarities with the core product. Plants experiencing large import competition shifted their output toward production of their core commodity and away from production of unrelated peripheral commodities.

    Release date: 2008-05-16

  • Articles and reports: 11F0027M2008052
    Geography: Canada

    Over the past three decades, tariff barriers have fallen significantly, leading to an increasing integration of Canadian manufactures into world markets and especially the U.S. market. Much attention has been paid to the effects of this shift at the national scale, while little attention has been given to whether these effects vary across regions. In a country that spans a continent, there is ample reason to believe that the effects of trade will vary across regions. In particular, location has a significant effect on the size of markets available to firms, and this may impact the extent to which firms reorganize their production in response to falling trade barriers. Utilizing a longitudinal microdata file of manufacturing plants (1974 to 1999), this study tests the effect of higher levels of trade across regions on the organization of production within plants. The study finds that higher levels of export intensity (exports as a share of output) across regions are positively associated with longer production runs, larger plants and product specialization within plants. These effects are strongest in Ontario and Quebec, provinces that are best situated with respect to the U.S. market.

    Release date: 2008-05-09

  • Articles and reports: 11F0027M2008051
    Geography: Canada

    This paper investigates the productivity effects of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Canadian manufacturing. It finds that Canadian tariff cuts increased exit rates among moderately productive non-exporting plants. This led to the reallocation of market share toward highly productive plants, which helps explain why aggregate productivity gains were observed when Canadian tariffs were reduced. The paper also finds that all of the within-plant productivity gains resulting from the U.S. tariff cuts involved exporters and, especially, new entrants into the export market. It demonstrates that any lack of output responses and labour-shedding as a consequence of the FTA were experienced by Canadian plants who were non-exporters, while exporters captured the gains from the FTA.

    Release date: 2008-05-07

  • Articles and reports: 11F0027M2007044
    Geography: Canada

    Utilizing a longitudinal micro data file of manufacturing plants (1974 to 1999), this study tests the effect of higher levels of trade on the level of industrial specialization experienced by regional manufacturing economies. Consistent with trade driven by comparative advantage, the analysis demonstrates that higher levels of export intensity (exports as a share of output) across regions are associated with greater industrial specialization. However, the analysis also shows that changes in export intensity are only weakly associated with changes in specialization. This occurs because comparative advantage tends to shift away from industries that account for a large share of regional manufacturing employment and towards industries that initially have lower shares. This ebb and flow of comparative advantage helps to explain why Canadian manufacturing regions have not become more specialized in an environment of increasing integration into the world market.

    Release date: 2007-06-25
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