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From Groundnuts to Globalization: A Structural Estimate of Trade and Growth

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  • Christian Broda
  • Joshua Greenfield
  • David Weinstein

Abstract

Starting with Romer [1987] and Rivera-Batiz-Romer [1991] economists have been able to model how trade enhances growth through the creation and import of new varieties. In this framework, international trade increases economic output through two channels. First, trade raises productivity levels because producers gain access to new imported varieties. Second, increases in the number of varieties drives down the cost of innovation and results in ever more variety creation. Using highly disaggregate trade data, e.g. Gabon's imports of Gambian groundnuts, we structurally estimate the impact that new imports have had in approximately 4000 markets per country. We then move from groundnuts to globalization by building an exact TFP index that aggregates these micro gains to obtain an estimate of trade on productivity growth for each country. We find that in the typical country in the world, new imported varieties account for 15 percent of its productivity growth. These effects are larger in developing countries where the median impact of new imported varieties equals a quarter of national productivity growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12512.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12512

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  1. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
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  4. Helpman, Elhanan & Grossman, Gene M., 1989. "Product Development and International Trade," Scholarly Articles 3445094, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  20. Kocherlakota, Narayana R & Yi, Kei-Mu, 1996. "A Simple Time Series Test of Endogenous vs. Exogenous Growth Models: An Application to the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 126-34, February.
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