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When Is Quality of Financial System a Source of Comparative Advantage?

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  • Jiandong Ju
  • Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

Does finance follow the real economy, or the other way around? This paper unites the two competing schools of thought in a general equilibrium framework. Our key result is that there are threshold effects defined by a set of deep institutional parameters (cost of financial intermediation, quality of corporate governance, and level of property rights protection) which can be used to separate economies of high-quality institutions from those of low-quality institutions. On one hand, for economies with high-quality institutions, the view that finance follows the real economy is essentially correct. Equilibrium output and prices are determined by factor endowment. Further improvement in the institutions does not affect patterns of output. On the other hand, for economies with low-quality institutions, the view that finance is a key driver of the real economy is essentially correct. Not only is finance a source of comparative advantage, but an increase in capital endowment has no effect on outputs and prices. Our model extends a standard one-sector, partial equilibrium model of corporate finance to a multi-sector, general equilibrium analysis. Surprisingly, but consistent with data, we show that the size of financial markets (relative to GDP) does not change monotonically with either the quality of institutions or with the factor endowment. Free trade may reduce the aggregate income of an economy with low-quality institutions. Financial capital tends to flow from economies with low-quality institutions to those with high-quality institutions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13984.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Publication status: published as Ju, Jiandong & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "When is quality of financial system a source of comparative advantage?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 178-187, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13984

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jiandong Ju & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "When Is Quality of Financial System a Source of Comparative Advantage?," NBER Working Papers 13984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christian Keuschnigg & Peter Egger, 2010. "Innovation, Trade and Finance," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-08, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  3. Owen, Ann L. & Temesvary, Judit, 2014. "Heterogeneity in the growth and finance relationship: How does the impact of bank finance vary by country and type of lending?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 275-288.
  4. Spiros Bougheas & Rod Falvey, . "The Impact of Financial Market Frictions on Trade Flows, Capital Flows and Economic Development," Discussion Papers 11/01, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  5. Spiros Bougheas & Rod Falvey, 2009. "The impact of financial market imperfections on trade and capital flows," EconoQuantum, Revista de Economia y Negocios, Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Economico Administrativas, Departamento de Metodos Cuantitativos y Maestria en Economia., vol. 6(1), pages 91-110, Julio - D.
  6. Taiji Furusawa & Noriyuki Yanagawa, 2010. "Firm Heterogeneity under Financial Imperfection: Impacts of Trade and Capital Movement," CARF F-Series CARF-F-233, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  7. Christian Keuschnigg & Evelyn Ribi, 2010. "Business Taxation, Corporate Finance and Economic Performance," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-04, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  8. Kristin J. Forbes & Francis E. Warnock, 2011. "Capital Flow Waves: Surges, Stops, Flight, and Retrenchment," NBER Chapters, in: Global Financial Crisis National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Davin Chor & Kalina Manova, 2010. "Off the Cliff and Back? Credit Conditions and International Trade during the Global Financial Crisis," Working Papers 08-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  10. Taiji Furusawa & Taiji Furusawa, Noriyuki Yanagawa, 2013. "International Trade and Capital Movement under Financial Imperfection," CARF F-Series CARF-F-316, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  11. Nathan Nunn & Daniel Trefler, 2013. "Domestic Institutions as a Source of Comparative Advantage," NBER Working Papers 18851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2009. "On Global Currencies," Working Paper Series rwp09-026, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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