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Barriers to Entry and Development

One of the most challenging questions in economics is why some countries are so much richer than others. In this paper, we assess the role of cross-country differences in barriers to entry. This is motivated by the recent evidence about both their prevalence in the third world and their harmful economic consequences. We construct a growth model with capital in which barriers to entry give monopoly power to insider groups and allow them to extract rents. Our first contribution is to solve the dynamic rent-seeking problem of the insider groups and show that larger barriers reduce TFP, the capital-output ratio, and per-capita GDP and increase the relative price of capital. In other words, our model is consistent with the evidence that poorer countries have lower TFPs and capital-output ratios and higher relative prices of capital. Our second contribution is to take our model to the data and assess quantitatively the aggregate implications of barriers to entry. Our most important finding is that barriers to entry have non-linear effects: while small to medium-sized barriers are harmful, large barriers can have disastrous quantitative effects.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University in its series Working Papers with number 2167726.

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Handle: RePEc:asu:wpaper:2167726
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  1. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  2. Harrigan, James, 1999. "Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 267-293, April.
  3. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1993. "Changes in the wealth of nations," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-16.
  4. McGrattan, Ellen R. & Schmitz, James Jr., 1999. "Explaining cross-country income differences," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 669-737 Elsevier.
  5. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Traca, Daniel A., 2001. "Quantitative restrictions, market power and productivity growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 95-111, June.
  7. Cozzi Guido & Palacios Luis-Felipe, 2003. "Parente and Prescott's Theory May Work in Practice But Does Not Work in Theory," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-7, August.
  8. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1998. "Productivity Differences," Seminar Papers 660, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  10. José E. Galdón-Sánchez & James A. Schmitz Jr., 2002. "Competitive Pressure and Labor Productivity: World Iron-Ore Markets in the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1222-1235, September.
  11. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2001. "Building blocks for barriers to riches," Staff Report 288, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Alcala, Francisco & Ciccone, Antonio, 2001. "Trade and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3095, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1997. "Government production of investment goods and aggregate labor productivity," Staff Report 240, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Hendricks, Lutz, . "Equipment Investment and Growth In Developing Countries," Working Papers 97/5, Arizona State University, Department of Economics.
  15. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  16. Herrendorf, Berthold & Teixeira, Arilton, 2002. "How Trade Policy Affects Technology Adoption and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3486, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "The World Technology Frontier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 499-522, June.
  18. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-52, May.
  20. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1994. "Resistance to technology and trade between areas," Staff Report 184, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
  22. Bridgman, Benjamin R. & Livshits, Igor D. & MacGee, James C., 2007. "Vested interests and technology adoption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 649-666, April.
  23. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2003. "Relative prices and relative prosperity," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  24. Clark, Gregory, 1987. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed? Lessons from the Cotton Mills," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 141-173, March.
  25. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1995. "Resistance to new technology and trade between areas," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-17.
  26. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "The Poverty of Nations: A Quantitative Exploration," NBER Working Papers 5414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Restuccia, Diego & Urrutia, Carlos, 2001. "Relative prices and investment rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 93-121, February.
  28. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
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