Intermediaries in Entrepot Trade: Hong Kong Re-Exports of Chinese Goods
48 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2001 Last revised: 8 Aug 2022
Date Written: January 2001
In this paper, we examine Hong Kong's role in intermediating trade between China and the rest of the world. Hong Kong distributes a large fraction of China's exports. Net of customs, insurance, and freight charges, re-exports of Chinese goods are much more expensive when they leave Hong Kong than when they enter. Hong Kong markups on re-exports of Chinese goods are higher for differentiated products, products with higher variance in export prices, products sent to China for further processing, and products shipped to countries which have less trade with China. These results are consistent with quality-sorting models of intermediation and with the outsourcing of production tasks from Hong Kong to China. Additional results suggest that Hong Kong traders price discriminate across destination markets and use transfer pricing to shift income from high-tax countries to Hong Kong.
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