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Department of Economics

A Global View of Productivity Growth in China


How does a country’s productivity growth affect worldwide real incomes through international trade? In this paper, we take this classic question to the data by measuring the spillover effects of China’s productivity growth. Using a quantitative trade model, we first estimate China’s productivity growth between 1995-2007 and then isolate what would have happened to real incomes around the world if only China’s productivity had changed. We find that the spillover effects are small for all countries in our sample, ranging from a cumulative real income loss of at most -0.2 percent to a cumulative real income gain of at most 0.2 percent.