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Trade and Growth with Heterogeneous Firms

  • Richard E. Baldwin
  • Frédéric Robert-Nicoud

This paper explores the impact of trade on growth when firms are heterogeneous. We find that greater openness produces anti-and pro-growth effects. The Melitz-model selection effects raises the expected cost of introducing a new variety and this tends to slow the rate of new-variety introduction and hence growth. The pro-growth effect stems from the impact that freer trade has on the marginal cost of innovating. The balance of the two effects is ambiguous with the sign depending upon the exact nature of the innovation technology and its connection to international trade in goods and ideas. We consider five special cases (these include the Grossman-Helpman, the Coe- Helpman and Rivera-Batiz-Romer models) two of which suggest that trade harms growth; the others predicting the opposite.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0727.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0727
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  21. Keller, Wolfgang, 2002. " Trade and the Transmission of Technology," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 5-24, March.
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  26. Svetlana Demidova, 2008. "Productivity Improvements And Falling Trade Costs: Boon Or Bane?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1437-1462, November.
  27. Robert Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2006. "Trade and growth with heterogeneous firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19856, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  28. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  29. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning By Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence From Colombia, Mexico, And Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947, August.
  30. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  31. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144, 08.
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  40. Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1992. "Exit, selection, and the value of firms," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 621-653.
  41. Bulent Unel, . "Technology Diffusion through Trade with Heterogeneous Firms," Departmental Working Papers 2006-15, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  42. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  43. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 1998. "Productivity and the Decision to Export: Micro Evidence from Taiwan and South Korea," NBER Working Papers 6558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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