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Trade barriers, multinational involvement and intra-industry trade: panel data evidence from India

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The article analyses the effects of trade barriers and multinationals on the intensity of intra-industry trade (IIT) in a panel of Indian manufacturing industries from 1988 to 1999. We find that the intensity of IIT increases with the reduction of trade barriers. This is expected as greater competition from imports leads individual plants in the domestic industry to specialize in the manufacturing of unique varieties. The analysis suggests that horizontal (market seeking) multinational activities in the domestic industries exert a negative influence on IIT. This is consistent with the view that horizontal multinationals displace exports to the host country. At the same time, our results indicate that IIT will be stimulated to the extent that the entry of multinationals induces intra-industry specialization. We also analyse the role of product differentiation and plant level scale economies in determining IIT.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai-400065, India

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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