Participation in the Kaesong Industrial Complex and its impact on productivity: South Korean textile firms’ experiences

Sungtaek Cho, Do Won Kwak, Hongshik Lee

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This paper examines the effects of participating in the KIC on firms’ productivity using firm-level data from 1998 to 2012, focusing on the textile sector. To do this, we implemented PSM estimations employing the radius matching method with 0.01 caliper and 10nearest-neighbor matchings with replacement. We found 100 matched firms in control groups(domestic firms) that corresponded to each of the 10 treated firms. For analysis, we used a difference-in-differences (DID) framework and extended the basic DID framework to the event study framework of Gathmann et al. (2018). The results reported that the treated firms experienced the increased sales but the improvement in sales had not lead to improvements in productivity. These results can be found in the DID event study as well as the DID analysis. That is, improvement in productivity through FDI cannot be found in the empirical results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100995
JournalJapan and the World Economy
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar



  • Difference-in-differences
  • Event study
  • Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC)
  • North Korea
  • Propensity matching score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations

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