Multi-Product Firms and Product Turnover in the Developing World: Evidence from India

43 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2008 Last revised: 7 Mar 2015

See all articles by Pinelopi Goldberg

Pinelopi Goldberg

Yale University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Amit Khandelwal

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

Nina Pavcnik

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Petia B. Topalova

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: June 2008

Abstract

Recent theoretical work predicts that an important margin of adjustment to deregulation or trade reforms is the reallocation of output within firms through changes in their product mix. Empirical work has accordingly shifted its focus towards multi-product firms and their product mix decisions. Existing studies have however focused exclusively on the U.S. Using detailed firm-level data from India, we provide the first evidence on the patterns of multi-product firm production in a large developing country during a period (1989-2003) that spans large-scale trade and other market reforms. We find that in the cross-section, multi-product firms in India look remarkably similar to their U.S. counterparts, confirming the predictions of recent theoretical models. The time-series patterns however exhibit important differences. In contrast to evidence from the U.S., product churning--particularly product rationalization -- is far less common in India. We thus find little evidence of "creative destruction". We also find no link between declines in tariffs on final goods induced by India's 1991 trade reform and product dropping. The lack of product dropping is consistent with the role of industrial regulation in India, which, like in many other developing countries, may prevent an efficient allocation of resources.

Suggested Citation

Goldberg, Pinelopi (Penny) and Khandelwal, Amit Kumar and Pavcnik, Nina and Topalova, Petia B., Multi-Product Firms and Product Turnover in the Developing World: Evidence from India (June 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14127. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1152669

Pinelopi (Penny) Goldberg

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 208268
37 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States
203-432-3569 (Phone)
203-432-6323 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
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Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Amit Kumar Khandelwal (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www0.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/akhandelwal/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/people/amit_khandelwal

Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )

Duke University
Durham, NC 90097
United States

Nina Pavcnik

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2537 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Petia B. Topalova

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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