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Optimal Development Policies With Financial Frictions

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  • Oleg Itskhoki
  • Benjamin Moll

Abstract

Is there a role for governments in emerging countries to accelerate economic development by intervening in product and factor markets? To address this question, we study optimal dynamic Ramsey policies in a standard growth model with financial frictions. The optimal policy intervention involves pro‐business policies like suppressed wages in early stages of the transition, resulting in higher entrepreneurial profits and faster wealth accumulation. This, in turn, relaxes borrowing constraints in the future, leading to higher labor productivity and wages. In the long run, optimal policy reverses sign and becomes pro‐worker. In a multi‐sector extension, optimal policy subsidizes sectors with a latent comparative advantage and, under certain circumstances, involves a depreciated real exchange rate. Our results provide an efficiency rationale, but also identify caveats, for many of the development policies actively pursued by dynamic emerging economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Oleg Itskhoki & Benjamin Moll, 2019. "Optimal Development Policies With Financial Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(1), pages 139-173, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:87:y:2019:i:1:p:139-173
    DOI: 10.3982/ECTA13761
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    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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