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Well-Intended Policies

Author

Listed:
  • Francisco Buera

    (UCLA)

  • Benjamin Moll

    (Princeton University)

  • Yongseok Shin

    (Washington University)

Abstract

Market failures provide a rationale for policy intervention. But policies are often hard to alter once in place. We argue that this inertia can result in well-intended policies having sizable negative long-run effects on aggregate output and productivity. In our theory, financial frictions provide a rationale for providing subsidized credit to productive entrepreneurs to alleviate the credit constraints they face. In the short run, such targeted subsidies have the intended effect and raise aggregate output and productivity. In the long run, however, individual productivities mean-revert while individual-specific subsidies remain fixed. As a result, entry into entrepreneurship is distorted: The subsidies prop up entrepreneurs that were formerly productive but are now unproductive, while impeding the entry of newly productive individuals. Therefore aggregate output and productivity are depressed. Our theory provides an explanation for two empirical observations on developing countries: idiosyncratic distortions that disproportionately affect productive establishments, and temporary growth miracles followed by growth failures. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Buera & Benjamin Moll & Yongseok Shin, 2013. "Well-Intended Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 216-230, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:11-216
    DOI: 10.1010/j.red.2012.10.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Charles Sabel & Ernesto H. Stein & Alberto Trejos, 2016. "Two to Tango: Public-Private Collaboration for Productive Development Policies," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 94716, February.
    2. Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2017. "Replacing Income Taxation with Consumption Taxation in Japan," CIGS Working Paper Series 17-008E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    3. António Antunes & Tiago Cavalcanti & Anne Villamil, 2015. "The effects of credit subsidies on development," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(1), pages 1-30, January.
    4. Li, Hao-Chung & Lee, Wen-Chieh & Ko, Bo-Ting, 2017. "What determines misallocation in innovation? A study of regional innovation in China," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 221-237.
    5. Petre Caraiani, 2016. "A quantitative explanation of the low productivity in South-Eastern European economies: the role of misallocations," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 119, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    6. Cavalcanti, Tiago & Vaz, Paulo Henrique, 2017. "Access to long-term credit and productivity of small and medium firms: A causal evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 21-25.
    7. Inés Butler & Gabriela Galassi & Hernán Ruffo, 2016. "Public funding for startups in Argentina: an impact evaluation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 295-309, February.
    8. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Charles Sabel & Ernesto H. Stein & Alberto Trejos, . "Two to Tango: Public-Private Collaboration for Productive Development Policies," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 7694, March.
    9. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Gary Hansen, 2017. "Replacing Income Taxation with Consumption Taxation in Japan," 2017 Meeting Papers 1114, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Di Nola, Alessandro, 2015. "Capital Misallocation during the Great Recession," MPRA Paper 68289, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Industrial policy; Idiosyncratic distortions; Financial frictions;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy

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