|執筆者||Eric D. Ramstetter, Masaru Umemoto|
In recent years Thai vehicle exports have increased rapidly and Thailand appears to have developed a comparative advantage the production of small trucks and motorcycle parts. On the other hand, despite benefiting from decades of high protection that continues today, Thailand still does not have a comparative advantage in the largest segments of the industry. Simple gravity models do an acceptable job of explaining the country-wise this variation of exports for all vehicles and parts combined, and automobile and truck parts, but not for automobiles, small trucks, motorcycles, and motorcycle parts. One reason that many of the gravity models perform poorly is because almost all of these exports originated in ten foreign multinationals. These large exporters tended to be relatively large and have relatively high labor productivity and foreign ownership shares. Large exporters are also unlikely to require high levels of protection for continued operation, suggesting that Thailand could benefit by reducing protection and the implicit transfers from Thai taxpayers and consumers to these firms that result. Moreover, the future of Thai vehicle exports is very much in the hands of these firms and Thai policymakers can probably do very little to affect the pace at which they will grow or stagnate.