Research Seminar: Geographic spillovers and firm exports | Evidence from China


Monday, May 16, 2022, 10:15am to 11:30am


Wexner 434A, Zoom (registration information below)

The Growth Lab Research Seminar series is a weekly seminar that brings together researchers from across the academic spectrum who share an interest in growth and development.

Speaker: Lin Tian, Assistant Professor of Economics at INSEAD

Abstract: This paper empirically investigates geographic spillovers in the export market. We first embed a knowledge diffusion model into an open-economy heterogeneous firm framework, to provide a microfounded theory on how access to other exporters affects a firm's export performance. Motivated by the model, we leverage the expansion of China’s high-speed rail (HSR) as a quasi-experiment to provide plausibly exogenous variation in the access to other exporters (and their insights) for Chinese firms. We find that with the HSR opening, the geographical spillovers from connected cities improve firms' export performance both intensively and extensively. Additionally, we demonstrate that - consistent with the theory - the geographic spillover effects are heterogeneous along dimensions such as firm size, product complexity, and firm location.

Please register in advance, and contact Chuck McKenney with any questions. The seminar will be hybrid, with Lin presenting in-person for the Harvard community only in Wexner 434A.

About the speaker:

Lin Tian is an Assistant Professor of Economics at INSEAD and a CEPR research affiliate. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, and earned her PhD in Economics at Columbia University. Lin’s research aims at uncovering factors that contribute to the variation of economic activities across space and highlighting the socio-economic impacts of these spatial disparities.