Essays in International Trade and Development

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Essays in International Trade and Development

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Title: Essays in International Trade and Development
Author: Dragusanu, Raluca Ecaterina
Citation: Dragusanu, Raluca Ecaterina. 2014. Essays in International Trade and Development. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: This dissertation studies different aspects of the interaction between developed and developing countries in global supply chains. The first chapter studies the matching between importing and exporting firms in global supply chains. I construct a novel dataset that links firm-level information of Indian manufacturing exporters from the CMIE-Prowess database with firm-level information of their US importers from the Longitudinal Business Database. The data highlights three key facts that are consistent with the predictions of a theoretical model featuring sequential production and costly search for high-capability suppliers. First, there is positive assortative matching between US buyers and their Indian suppliers. Second, the strength of positive matching increases with the proximity to final use of the product traded (downstreamness). Finally, matching is stronger - and more sensitive to downstreamness - when the demand elasticity faced by the US buyer is high. The second chapter examines the effects of export factory work on young girls' school enrollment in the context of the garment industry in Cambodia, which employs primarily young, unmarried women from rural areas. I show that the female siblings of female garment workers who were induced to work in garment exporting sector by their proximity to the factories are one standard deviation more likely to attend school relative to their male siblings. The evidence is consistent with non-unitary household decision-making in which factory work increases the bargaining power of older female siblings within the household. The third chapter, written jointly with Nathan Nunn, investigates the impact of Fair Trade (FT) certification on coffee producers in Costa Rica. We begin by examining a panel of all coffee producers between 1999 and 2010. We find that FT certification is associated with higher export prices equal to approximately 5 cents per pound. Linking the mill-level information on FT certification to individual-level survey data, we find that FT certification does increase incomes, but only for skilled coffee growers and farm owners. There is no evidence that unskilled workers, particularly seasonal coffee pickers, benefit from certification.
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