Imports 'R' Us: Retail Chains as Platforms for Developing-Country Imports

36 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2008 Last revised: 4 Dec 2008

Emek Basker

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies; University of Missouri - Department of Economics

Van H. Pham

Baylor University - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 1, 2008

Abstract

By exploiting the uneven consolidation in the retail sector over the past few years we find that Chinese and other LDC imports are disproportionately sold by the largest retail firms. Smaller retailers sell almost as many imports but they are more likely to import from high-cost source countries. We apply a numerical algorithm to compute marginal propensities to import by firm size. The largest retail firms' propensity to import from China is 17 percentage points higher than that of smaller retailers; the corresponding difference in import propensities from LDCs as a whole is 27 points. The disproportionate growth of large retailers between 1997 and 2002 explains 5% of the overall growth in consumer goods imports, 20% of the growth in consumer goods imports from China, and 22% of the growth in consumer goods imports from LDCs.

Keywords: Imports, Retail Chains

JEL Classification: F14, L11, L81

Suggested Citation

Basker, Emek and Pham, Van H., Imports 'R' Us: Retail Chains as Platforms for Developing-Country Imports (December 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1123282 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1123282

Emek Basker (Contact Author)

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233-9100
United States

University of Missouri - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

HOME PAGE: http://emekbasker.org

Van H. Pham

Baylor University - Department of Economics ( email )

One Bear Place #98003
Waco, TX 76798
United States
(254) 710-3521 (Phone)
(254) 710-6142 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.baylor.edu/van_pham

Paper statistics

Downloads
217
Rank
114,390
Abstract Views
2,098